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Utah stay-at-home dad relishes role of Mr. Mom, organizes local ‘dads group’

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7 percent of Utah's stay-at-home parents are fathers (Source: Pew)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – There’s a growing number of men ditching the daily grind at work to be stay-at-home dads – and the trend may be happening in Utah, albeit slowly.

Travis Chaston of Salt Lake City is one such father, taming tummy aches and driving his two daughters to and from school, all while his wife takes on the role of primary breadwinner.

Not only is Chaston confident in his unique role, he has also set up a local chapter of the national City Dads Group, whose motto is “Navigating Fatherhood Together.” SLC Dads Group can be found on Facebook, inviting fathers from all backgrounds and roles to come together, organizing play dates and “dad’s nights out.”

While stay-at-home dads are more common today than 30 years ago, Chaston said family and friends in Utah weren’t initially sold on the idea.

“They thought it was weird for me to be home,” he said, “because it’s not macho, I guess.”

“I love it. I get to spend more time with my kids,” he said.

Pew researchers found in 2014 a growing number of men are staying at home, but Utah had the lowest number of male stay at home parents – just 7 percent. Compare that to Alabama, in which 23 percent of stay at home parents are men.

Chaston said he feels lucky to be able to take on this role.

“It’s hard in this day and age cause you need two incomes. Our family is lucky that my wife makes good money. She supports me in my role, I support her in her role,” he said.

Chaston admits it’s still unconventional in Utah for a man to ditch the breadwinner role. “A lot of dads don’t embrace it,” said Chaston. Still, no matter how gender roles shift, Chaston said he is happy as long as he can be there for his young daughters.

Click here for information about SLC Dads Group.

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