Dads don't babysit, they parent

Posted at 2:29 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 15:29:56-04

TULSA - A Pew Research study says about 16 percent of dad's stay at home and describe themselves as their child's primary caregiver, that's about four-times as many as 25 years ago.

Families are busier than ever and working dads are more involved changing diapers and cleaning up spills.

Moms have long been the primary caregivers, and some would even argue the more safety-minded parent.

But where does dad fit into the equation these days? Dads are doing more than just playing, and more than just buying dinner.

"Yeah, it's been a learning experience for me and I think it's been important for me as a modern-day dad just to help out as much as possible," said Josh Deboer.

In addition to Josh being a modern-day dad, his wife, Kristy, is a mommy blogger.

She talks about their life to help other parents at justhappymommy.Com .

"The family dynamic has completely changed over the past 30 years," said Kristy. "More women are going back to work, some mom's stay home. Some dad's stay home."

Riley Kern is one of those stay-at-home dads. He's raising his 4-month-old son, Bruno, while running his estate planning law practice.

"When we first got married a few years ago, we talked about the idea that it would be really fun if one of us could end up doing something like that but we never thought it would be possible," said Kern.

But it was possible, and it's now their reality. In Bruno's third trimester, the Kerns put together a business plan.

It finally came together after Riley talked to some fellow lawyers and realized he'd be going back to work, leaving his family.

"It's going to be like tearing my heart out every morning as I drive away and sure enough. The first few weeks when I had to be away when he was first born that's what it felt like. It was the most awful experience," he said. "And I knew whatever those guys were doing was working for them and was great for them and their families, no judgment whatever, but if I could make a way to be home, I needed to do it."

It's now been two months, and Riley said it's going great and his clients have no issues working with a stay-at-home dad.

"So even though it's not 9 to 5, I really try to think more in terms of balance, that there is some time just for work, some time is for family."

The best part of the arrangement he said, is they aren't held to any schedules and it's up to them to decide when they'll work.

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