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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Stay at home ‘baby daddies’

Photo credit: Diego Ramirez

When calling him ‘daddy’ turns literal.

There’s always been a stigma that men are the providers, the ‘breadwinners’. They are in charge of providing financially, while women are the caregivers. Women give the kids love and affection. When women get pregnant in college they are more likely to become the stay-at-home parent than men. If men do stay at home to raise the kids, there’s judgement. Why? We should applaud men for wanting to step-up and letting the mom continue their education.

Fewer than 2 percent of teen mothers finish college by the age of thirty. This is not surprising. Raising kids is hard enough without the pressures of school. I personally don’t have experience raising a child, other than being a part-time babysitter in high school. But through what my siblings, friends and I put our parents through during our rebellious teen phases, I can assume.

Fathers only made up 17 percent of stay-at-home parents in 2016. Why are so many women the primary caretaker? It’s even lower in California. The ‘golden state’ only has 14 percent of dads being the main caregiver.

We need to let go of the traditional gender roles and embrace all types of families. Let’s start celebrating the men that support the women who bring home the bacon, while they cook it up for breakfast.

Why are there misconceptions that men aren’t stay-at-home parents by choice? Why is there the misconception that the father is willing to drop out of college because he is lazy and doesn’t want to get an education? Isn’t there a possibility that he wants to support the mom?

There are lots of reasons why a guy might drop out of college to be the sole caregiver of the child. Maybe he doesn’t know what career he wants to have or maybe he just wants to be there for his kid. He wants to be a big part of their life instead of just seeing him or her on the weekends.

Regardless of the reason, we need to support the men that decide to become the most involved guardian. Society and families look nothing like they did fifty years ago. Same-sex marriage is now legal in all states and having children out of wedlock is also more common.

Dads who drop out of college to raise their child are not unproductive. They are not bums. A man being the main caretaker doesn’t make him any less ‘manly’.

We need to start better embracing baby daddies and their decision to be a full-time dad.

Brooke Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @bmartin471 on Twitter.

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