Stay-at-Home Dads Reflect on Criticism

Meet the fathers who say being Mr. Mom is not only manly, it's a tough, full-time job.
3:00 | 01/25/14

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Transcript for Stay-at-Home Dads Reflect on Criticism
Imagine this -- men stay at home doing the house work while we women go to work. Forget the backlash over stay at home moms. Now it's stay at home dads under fire. That's right, trophy husbands are ruling the playground as their high-powered wives stake out the corner office. So is dad the new mom? Jake Howard potter is used to being a fish out of water. What are some of the things you guys do in class? Floating on our back. He's been a stay at home dad for almost four years. Mommy! Is that her? I don't think so. We were with him two years ago when his daughter Skyler was still in diapers. Today he has his hands full with the new addition, 8-month-old Lyndon. It's really just amazing to watch and be a part of. I'm definitely still enjoying it. It's quite a bit more work than I had anticipated. It's very difficult to be in more than one place at one time. He does everything a mom would do, from swim class to nap time. Night, night take a nap. There are certainly a lot more fathers that are a lot more involved. Because it's become much more prevalent in the media, because it's been written about more, buzz there's more people doing it, I think it's much less weird dad on the play ground with a kid. It wasn't long ago that they were portrayed as bungling Mr. Moms. Like the clueless guys from "Three men and a baby" who couldn't figure out how to change a diaper. But today's stay at home dads are geared up and pushing strollers with pride. Like the dudes group from "What to expect when you're expecting." In reality, people sort of think of, you know, stay at home dads at the bumbling Mr. Mom from the movies. Whether that's a setup by Hollywood and then has been reinforced by the public, it's certainly something that I considered when I decided to be a stay at home dad. You know, all that being said, I challenge anybody that's sitting in an office for eight hours a day to come try to do what I do with these two kids on daily basis. But it's not all play dates and playgrounds. Stay at home fathers can still be a target for ridicule. Just last month, a doting dad uploaded this photo of himself doing his daughter's hair. It went viral. Some women swooned. But the haters came out, too. With ugly comments. He probably rented those kids. They don't even look like him. Or I would bet anything that you're a deadbeat. But his simple message was a blog post called I have a dream that people will view a picture like this and not think it's a big deal. Tom stockey shares that dream. He took four months off from his job at Facebook to care for his newborn daughter. She would find new things to try to eat, new things to try to stick her fingers into. There was dangers loom on all sides. But he was surprised by all the unsolicited comments he got, often snarky, that he got. Stockey vented on Facebook about comments slamming moms who work when dads don't. One stranger cracked, it's too bad you can't earn as much as your wife so she can be the one to stay home. I think it's a traditional gender stereotype that we all buy into to some extent that mommys are better at daddies. Mommys are better at that kind of mommying than daddies. Lisa miller wrote a controversial piece called retro wife where she says women shouldn't feel bad about opting out of their career. This idea that you have to go out as a woman and, you know, be ambitious and be driven and play with the big boys, that's a very specific message for a very specific kind of woman. Most women, and I would venture to say, most people, don't have that kind of ambition. And are never going to make that kind of money. Naen lig and in light of that, what is the harm in deciding to stay home with your children. On the flip side, stay at home dads have to fight the perception that they're mooching off their white's salary. Most people think I'm a bum. I should be out there working, why is my wife working, I'm not working. And I'm like, I am working. If it was reverse you wouldn't say she's a bum you would say oh, what a great mother she is. I'm a great father. For a lot of stay at home dads, it is strictly a number the game. Their wives outowner them. Jake is an artist and his wife is a tax lawyer. Say bye-bye. We spent the day at her office before baby number two. I can sit and be a lawyer and be very focused and sit at a desk and, you know, I'm a tax lawyer. So I can look at tax returns and change Numbers. This changes this number. This is not the way his mind works. And it's very frustrated to him. The women like Erica who bring home the bacon are often criticized for not being home with their kids. On this night, she had only 30 minutes of mommy and me time. A lot of women I know, even hardworking, ambitious, out in the work force women hold this idea that unless they make the sandwich, the sandwich isn't as good. Marriages like Jake and Erica's are still in the minority. Even though the number of at-home dads doubled in the past ten years, it's still a small number, less than 200,000. Working ma mom beyonce sings around running the world. ♪ Who run the world ♪ ♪ girls ♪ She cently weighed in on an editorial on working women. We need to stop buy into the myth about gender equality. It isn't a reality yet. The average working woman earns only 77% of what the average man makes. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters earn more. So why are we viewed as less equal? The most stressful thing on a marriage is when people are living roles that they didn't expect. They will find it emasculating if they have an idea of themselves as the knight in shining armor, the breadwinner. But for Jake, there's nothing unmanly about being a dad. In some ways, guys who stay home with their kids are actually even more manly. They're kind of able to put their egos aside and really do what's necessary to take care of the kids.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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