Stay-at-home dads on the rise

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by CYNTHIA IZAGUIRRE

WFAA

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 10:01 AM

When you think of a stay-at-home parent, many most likely think "mom."

But, now there's a new kid on the block, and chances are it's a stay at home dad who's pushing baby around in the stroller.

Channel 8's Cynthia Izaguirre spoke with a North Texas dad and his circle of fathers, known as "Dallas Dads," about how they're working towards the same goal.


There's a lot of love and chaos in the David Nicolato household.

"I'm doing it backwards," Nicolato said. "They're upside down. I've got 15 things to do and I have to get out of the house on time."

Nicolato is a stay-at-home dad.

"It's the hardest job in the whole wide world," he said. "But, at the same time, there's nothing else I would rather be doing."

Nicolato's children, 4-year-old Jacob and 2-year-old Ian, are a hand-full.

When mom is at work and on business trips, they know it's dad who runs the show.

"He cooks pancakes, waffles, bagels," Jacob said of his father.

Nicolato and his wife wanted a stay-at-home parent.

"We did the pro and con lists between my wife's salary and benefits," he said. "Also, I was in the restaurant business. I worked nights, weekends and every major holiday."

The Nicolatos are not alone. Recent U.S. Census data shows the number of men who have left the work force entirely to raise children has more than doubled, to 176,000 in the last decade.

"We're growing exponentially," Nicolato said.

Despite their growing numbers, stay at-home-dads often get "the look."

"It's usually women," said another father from the "Dallas Dads" group. "They'll look at you and say, 'Oh, you have the kids today? How ya doing?'"

Nicolato joined the group nearly five years ago when his first son was just three months old. The baby didn't get much out of it, but dad sure did.

"It's an outlet just to basically get out of the house," he said.

When push comes to shove, the dads will tell you they're no different from the moms out there struggling to get it all done.

"It's hard," Nicolato said. "Anything worth doing is hard."

He knows he's lucky.

"You're able to be there for the first steps," he said. "Their first words are always 'dadda' instead of 'momma.' That bothers the wife, but when they say dadda that's cool."

E-mail izzy@wfaa.com

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