More than 2-in-5 dads would prefer to stay at home and look after their young child 24/7 than return to work a new study has revealed.
This is supported by data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which shows that there are 144,000 stay-at-home dads (SAHDs) in Australia at last count, a 148% increase since 2003.
The study, commissioned by Fisher-Price for Father’s Day, also shows that dads also want to pick and choose their tasks with their baby, with only 5% seeing changing the nappy as a “priority” for a dad.
Beyond the nappy-changing, the Fisher-Price research shows that dads want to be more active parents than ever before.
- 37% say seeing their child grow is the best part of raising a little one
- 41% see their primary role as a dad as playing with their baby
- But 45% say their biggest fear is dropping their baby, and
- 27% say they feel nervous about looking after their child by themselves.
Dads also revealed their most awkward moments when becoming a first-time father. Their baby taking an “unscheduled” toilet break (33%) topped the list. Other funny, but nonetheless red-faced and real moments, included having little or no idea how to change a nappy (26%) and having their newborn being sick all over them (23%).
Four-out-of-five dads want their child to pursue a career option that will make them happy, with only 8% saying they wanted their child to be an office worker and 4% a football player.
The biggest sacrifices new dads make are similar to new mums:
- 30% say it’s having far less sleep
- 26% say there’s no time to themselves, and
- 15% say the biggest sacrifice is less time for socialising.
An overwhelming 85% said being a dad for the first time was even better than they thought it would be.
New dads also have three handy tips for dads-to-be:
1. Try to understand the emotions of your partner as she progresses through pregnancy and birth.
2. Forget the parenting books.
3. Expect the unexpected.