PORTLAND, Ore. -- Strollers rolling through the Oregon Zoo on a weekday aren't an uncommon sight.
Increasingly, neither are the stay-at-home dads pushing them.
Regardless of the reason ...
- "My wife works full time, and I'm a student"
- "I didn't particularly care for my job, and she loved her's"
- "My wife is better suited for the workplace, and i'm better suited for home"
... more and more dads are staying at home.
According to the latest Census numbers, nationwide there were 158,000 stay-at-home dads last year -- less than one percent of married couples. But the number grows every year.
The crowd at the zoo met up through an online group for stay-at-home dads.
"It's been around just over two years, and we're up just over 220 dads signed up on this list," said Eric Houghton, who runs PortlandDad.com. "I figured dads needed something like that but I never dreamed it would get as big as it did as quickly as it did."
The thought of a stay-at-home might still conjure up visions of Michael Keaton in "Mr. mom."
But don't say that to these dads: Keaton's character wasn't a happy stay-at-home dad.
David Platt, an active member of the dad's group, spends his days taking care of his 2-year-old, Mae Lin.
"With our careers, it made a lot more sense for me to do it," he said. "I did a lot more freelance. It was easy for me to stop. I've been so happy since")
His wife is Dr. Dawn Nolt, a pediatrician at OHSU. She sees more women staying on the job - and more dads at home.
"It's not abnormal for the woman to continue her career," she said. "I think dads have to justify a lot to colleagues their decision to stay at home is the one they wanted to make and they're happy with it."