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2 Million Stay-At-Home Fathers May Prove 'Doofus Dad' Image Is Dead

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — More fathers in the United States are staying home these days—either as full-time dads or to work from home. And because there are issues only they could possibly understand, hundreds of them gathered in San Francisco over the weekend to talk "dad" talk.


More than 350 dudes were at a crowded bar with TVs turned to basketball and hockey. Beer and wine flow but no one is watching the game.

"We as men have been allowed to become more sensitive," Richard Greenberg said.

That doesn't mean that Greenberg can't be a huge hockey fan—he is. But at this San Francisco bar on this night, these dudes have gathered to talk about being a dad.

"I mean you see dads out at the playground and someone will say, 'You must have had a great dad.' And more often than not, the answer is often: No," he said.

Doug French, who helped organize the Dad 2.0 Summit, said they discuss sujects that are familiar to mothers.

"Struggling with work-life integration, having the same issues that mom's are saying: Well, welcome to our world, "he said.

It's the fourth year and French said it's the largest so far.

A Pew Research study finds two million dads are at home full time and he U.S. Census shows that 7 million consider themselves to be the regular source of care.

Both numbers are up likely due to the recession.

The perception of dads in the media is also changing. We're not that doofus Homer Simpson guy so much anymore.

An ad for Dove body wash during the Super Bowl played on the theme that men are strong when they are caring and sensitive with their kids.

"The feedback from consumers has been tremendous—you know really happy to see dads take center stage and be portrayed authentically," Laura Dimaselli, who works with Dove, said.

Dimaselli also helped with the organization for the conference showing there's money in the new dad—who may not actually be all that new at all.

"Historically the role of the father in my opinion has stayed the same," Greenberg, who also blogs about his experience as a father under Common Sense Dad, said.

He's likely the oldest one to attend Dad 2.0. With four kids now out of the house, he can pass on some wisdom.

"I bring with them a certain confidence that is: You can screw up every once in a while; it's okay. You can be a dad. You can mess up and forget your kid and forget to pick him up at the park—and they'll survive and you'll go get them."

Dads, in fact, can be doofuses sometimes but so can moms. At least we're equal that way.

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