It’s midday, mid-week in Mid-Levels and a group of middle-aged men are enjoying a few beers together. This part of the day is down time for Rob Daniel, Donald Knapp, Edo Fuijkschot and Chris Lee because they aren’t employed in traditional jobs.
All are stay-at-home dads, full-time fathers, house husbands, Mr Moms or whatever label society has given them. They are meeting when their children are either at school or with the family helper, and their wives have yet to leave work.
The number of men who have quit or scaled back their jobs to take on homemaking duties traditionally ascribed to women forms a miniscule demographic. But their numbers are edging up – at least in the West. According to the United States Census, there were an estimated 160,000 full-time fathers in 2007. That only accounts for about 3 per cent of all stay-at-home parents. Nonetheless, it is triple the 1997 figure. In Britain, a Guardian report estimates there are 250,000 stay-at-home fathers.