Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released in August show 9 per cent of fathers with children under five are working part time.

Dr Jennifer Baxter, senior research fellow at the Australian Institute Of Family Studies, puts the number of stay-at-home dads — in the traditional sense of not working but having an employed partner — at 67,000 or 4.3 per cent of all fathers, reports Herald Sun.

She points out that while the number of dads in part-time work is on the rise, it’s not always by choice. Nonetheless, men are adapting very well to changing work and social conditions.

“I think perhaps dads are doing it in more creative ways, not necessarily completely leaving their job to be home to look after kids, but working a couple of days — partially stay-at-home dads and sharing duties with mums in ways that perhaps they weren’t in the past,” Baxter says.

“We see it in the research — people think of it more as flexible options, working from home and even changing careers to take up flexible arrangements. They’re looking at different ways of being a stay-at-home dad but still working.”

Associate Professor Richard Fletcher, head of the Fathers and Families Research Program at the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre, says society is gradually coming to view the role of dads as just as important as that of mothers.

“In antenatal classes, for example, we see fathers are coming along to dads-only antenatal classes, which is different to what their dads did. What’s important as a shift marker, they say they want that connection with their baby, with their child. That’s a change in the culture,” he says.

“The research evidence has changed in the last decade. We now know a lot more about how important fathers are for children’s development, not just for bringing in the money.

“The way dads interact with their very young children has a very big impact on how that child develops socially, emotionally and how well they do at school.”

I myself noticed at our local pool that the infant swim classes are predominantly dads and bubs. It is fantastic to see! I love that the traditional role of parenting has finally changed.

Could your partner hack the role of SAHD?

Share your comments below.

Image via shutterstock


  • We live in a very changeable world and family dynamics are changing as well.


  • since i have gone back to work this year my husband who works full time has had to try out the sahd title when my girls have been sick – he got a double whammy one day when I one daughter stayed home school because she had a tummy bug and then about 2 hours after I dropped the other daughter at school SAHD got the phone call to collect her because she was vommitting – he ended up with both of them over buckets in the car and had whirlwind introduction to gastro and how to deal with it and clean up after it while I was at work – lets just say I think he was glad it was a one off!


  • Each family should do what works for them, as long as the needs of all members are being met.


  • I know one Dad who would be almost perfect as a Stay at Home Dad. The only chore he doesn’t help with is the house cleaning. He helps with everything else.


  • Great to see. I have noticed that more dads are at swimming lessons and even mothers group (or more like it- parents group!)


  • My husband would be perfect at it. Well, almost perfect! :-)


  • My husband would love to stay home with the kids but unfortunately he earns more money than I would.


  • Being a Stay at home parent is quite hard, why shouldn’t the man do it too sometimes. Good on them.


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