Dad Enters Non-Traditional Role Of Stay At Home With Downturn In Economy

W. BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – This Father’s Day finds a growing number of dads who are choosing to stay home.

WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reports with the job market still not good — and the cost of child care on the rise — 20 percent of American men are now the primary caretakers for their children.

Bret Panter of W. Bloomfield is a graphic designer who chose to stay at home when the job market dried up.

“Four years ago I definitely wasn’t wired this way … I was all about work, myself, you think differently, you act differently – life changes when you have a child,” he said.

Panter runs a part-time business out of his home and takes care of 3 year-old Zoey. His wife works full-time at night.

He said that some men do envy his lifestyle while others .

“Sometimes (other men envy my role) and sometimes I think a lot of them look down on you … it’s a double edged sword,” Panter said.

And what about the housework?

“We try (to do as much as women) after a while I don’t think we are as nit-picky about it – today – this morning – I had to mop the floor.”

“I’m so used to wearing so many different kind of hats,” Panter said. “It’s a little change of pace. Not only do I do graphic design and then for a while I was the official diaper changer.”

Panter says he’d like a full-time job but right now he relishes the chance to be a critical influence during his daughter’s early years.

“My father was always kind of in and out of my life … so that’s one thing I always kind of said to myself – I just want to be a better father,” he said.

“Happy Father’s Day,” said Zoey to her dad.


More from Sandra McNeill
blog comments powered by Disqus
Best Winter Festivals In Metro Detroit
Thanksgiving Parade Guide

Watch & Listen