'What Would You Do?': Tackling the stigma that dads can't handle 'mommy business'

A stay-at-home dad is at a restaurant with his daughter when two diners tell him he’s made an “unusual choice” to act as the primary caregiver for his daughter.
7:48 | 08/05/20

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Transcript for 'What Would You Do?': Tackling the stigma that dads can't handle 'mommy business'
Hey, honey, so, later today, you have ballet, and then I was thinking for dinner tonight I could make meatloaf. What do you think? Yay. I like your meatloaf, daddy. You sure have it all down. I should have my husband take notes from you. Yeah, this is just my calling. I just love being a stay-at-home dad. Oh, so you don't work? Well, that's different. In the last 30 years, the number of stay-at-home fathers in the U.S. Has nearly doubled. And as businesses slowly reopen, the number of both stay-at-home moms and dads could rise. It's estimated 4.5 million child care slots may be lost due to the pandemic. But this growing number of stay-at-home dads still face a social stigma. Like piers Morgan, for example, making fun of Daniel Craig for carrying his newborn daughter in what he called an "Emasculating baby carrier." He said, "We need a new James bond. A 007 who looks sharp in a tux and wouldn't be seen dead in a papoose." Back in that restaurant, this pair of moms isn't holding back their opinions, either. Wow, that's an unusual choice. To stay at home. Oh, I get it. It's like you're Mr. Mom. You're out having lunch when you overhear this. A father being criticized simply for choosing to stay at home as the primary caregiver for his daughter. What would you do? Wouldn't you rather be at work and let your wife handle the mommy business? Our hidden cameras are rolling at retro 520 diner in mt. Vernon, New York. You are going to ballet later today. Oh, look at this guy. He's so cute with her. Did daddy take the day off to hang out with you? No, no, this is -- I do this full time. I'm a stay-at-home dad. No way! Both actors are shocked. You're not joking? No, no. It's -- You don't have a job? This is my job. And this customer listens in as they give their very honest opinion. I think my mommy circle would love this. I think it's wonderful. I would have loved my father to stay at home with me. Really? She supports our dad, and shares the personal reason why. I was closer to my dad, I would've loved it. Don't you think it's a little emasculating? I don't think it's emasculating. I think it's the 21st freaking century and people can choose to do whatever the hell they want to do. That's good. What she's going to learn from him is that men can be nurturing and flexible and dependable. And she's going to learn to respect herself. And she's going to learn not to settle for the next pretty boy that says nice things to her because she's going to know, my daddy's got my back. Oh this is wonderful, she's That is 100% the most important lesson I learned. All right, break it? Let's go meet this woman with that very important lesson. How are you, ma'am? Oh, hi. How are you? I'm John Quinones, do you know the show "What would you do?" Yes. I do. That's crazy. What was your message to them? We have to get over these horrible stereotypes that we're setting up a society that's ultimately going to fail. This is a new world. There are all sorts of opportunities for women and all sorts of opportunities for men. And kids also need to learn that whatever they choose in life, they can do. We're rolling again. Are you, like, looking for a This is my job. I love what I do. This customer has clearly overheard what's happening. He's noticing. He's noticing. Do you hang out with other moms and arrange playdates? Sure. Of course, we arrange playdates. He doesn't seem to agree with our moms. Is your wife seriously okay with this? Yeah. There's no way. But doesn't confront the women. It doesn't make you feel like less of a man? When we send our moms away, he reveals this. I'm a psychologist, right? Yeah. They don't get it. Our manhood is not defined by what we do, period. He starts with his opinion. Our manhood is defined by who we are within. And how we express that to others. They're caught in cultural traps. And then he follows up with praise. Buddy, we're on the same page, because you're setting a great example for your daughter. I appreciate it. Great job, dad. Thank you, sir. We wondered, what will people do when we swap our moms with a pair of dads who work outside the home? What a cute little girl, my little girl is just like that. Ah, thanks man. She does actually look like that. Yeah, a little bit. And I wish I had the day off to spend with her. I'm a stay-at-home dad. I do this full time. Full time? We waste no time letting our dads speak their minds. Your wife works. How'd you get roped into that one? This woman looks shocked. You don't have a job? Well, this is my job. I stay at home with my daughter. That is an honorable job, taking care of kids. And she tries to shut our bullies down. Right, but that's not a real job. I'm just saying. Wow! I'm just calling it like it is. When the guys leave -- Got to go back to work. She offers our dad some moral support. He's, like, insane. I wouldn't want to be married to either one of them. God forbid! Thank you, I appreciate you saying that. Really, I think you're fantastic. There should be more dads that show more attention like that. Time to bring a little more attention her way. They're all act stores. Oh, my gosh. You felt very strong about it. The love of a father is very special. I know I loved my father very much. I think it's an appropriate thing to do, there's nothing wrong with it. If a man is willing to do it, it's a big obligation. It's not easy bringing up kids. We're at it again. Mr. Mom! You're like a modern-day Mr. Mom! And the day's final diners are taking in the scene. I just can't believe you stay at home all day with her. That's -- These ladies are hooked. That's your job? A job is where you make money And they immediately have lots to say about this parenting situation. That's the best job in the world. That's not a real job, though. Okay, okay. No, I'm just saying, like, not for a guy. Yeah, I know you're just saying. Not for a guy? Really? What, you don't agree with us? I think there's another point of view and he's living it out. Yes! If your husband was home? Yes, I wish he would have done that. Honestly, my husband would've done a better job. Wow! It's a big job. That's everlasting. As the situation escalates, she shares an important life lesson. When you leave your job, or you die, people are going to think about you for a New York minute. Wow. Arrivederci. There is someone there to take your place. When you're raising a kid, she's going to remember that, or he's going to remember that, forever. Okay, yeah, let's go. How are you? Wow! Oh, I'm blushing, oh, my god. What was your message to those guys, those bullies? People have different responsibilities and it doesn't matter. I wish I would have had an opportunity to have my husband stay home and raise my daughter. We need to model that behavior, not just talk about it, but actually model it for our future generations. As we close down the diner today, we reflect on the people who supported our stay-at-home and we also congratulate all those real stay-at-home dads out there. After all, they are redefining fatherhood, one precious child

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

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