"Stay-at-Home Dad" is a loaded term. As I don't know any personally, I have to be honest in that the initial feelings I have when I read or hear someone mention it is intrigue. Though I admire them like any hard working parent, so many questions spring to mind....
Why does a man want to give up his career prospects (or maybe he doesn't, but has little choice)? Why does a woman want to head back to full-time work and miss out on the early years of her children growing up, or perhaps she doesn't have a choice either (or maybe she just loves her job)? What is the social network of a stay-at-home Dad (are males accepted in mothers' groups)? Has someone taken the initiative to start some fathers' groups, or has the "trend" not yet gained enough traction?
Having lots of friends with children allows me to suggest answers to some of these questions for myself. Perhaps it is easier for the father to put his career on ice for some time, or maybe he just wants to spend more time with his kids! Perhaps the mother earns more money and it makes more financial sense for one to stay at home and the other to work. Yet it doesn't stop some of us from quietly asking ourselves that knee-jerk question when we see a Dad playing "Mum" - why are they doing it?
The interesting thing is that when you canvass general opinions on the topic, while probably not on purpose, it nearly always relates back to the mother. It is great that the father stays at home so the mother can have a life outside of her family, it is disappointing that the mother would rather go to work than be with her kids during the day, it is great that the father is happy to stay at home but why did the mother have kids if she didn't plan to look after them....and it goes on.
Of course these sorts of assumptions spring from personal experience and society's expectations of what the roles of a mother and father should be. Though many of us like to consider ourselves modern individuals of the 21st century, it will always be difficult to remove the traditional idea of "family roles" from the public eye.
But like any minority group - how do you dispel the myths and should you have to explain yourself for doing things differently?