It wasn't very long ago that a man who chose to stay home with the kids while his wife worked was considered an oddball. We've all heard the Mr. Mom jokes, but these days a growing number of American dads are wearing that nickname as a badge of honor.


The US Census Bureau reports the number of stay-at-home fathers has more than doubled in the past decade.  In 2001, there were only about 81,000 Mr Moms, or about 1.6 per cent of all stay-at-home parents. By last year, the number had climbed to 176,000.

Economists say a large part of this trend is caused by the recession that has left millions of American men unemployed.  However, a study by Boston College suggests the trend may also be the result of evolving gender roles of parents.

Many are doing it for purely pragmatic and economic reasons.  Growing numbers of couples come to that decision after taking a careful look at which spouse earns more money and has the more promising career.  It's also true that more fathers than ever want to play a greater role in rearing their children.

Yes indeed.  As Bob Dylan sang, the times they are a' changin'.