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Family 411: Stay-at-home dads

Ryan Gross stays home with his daughters while his wife works. He loves the time he gets with his girls. (WSYX/WTTE)

A changing family dynamic. More dads at home while moms work.

Ryan Gross has his hands full watching his two little girls at the playground.

He's a stay-at-home dad with five years experience and counting.

"I've been home with Cameron since she was 6 weeks old," said Gross.

Gross' wife is the primary bread winner. The two settled down close to family.

"I love being home with the girls. It's fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing," said Gross.

Jeff Kramer, program manager for Father Factor with Action For Children, works closely with fathers. He is seeing more role-reversals in the home.

"I think economics is a big part of it and these are families that are still married and together you also have a lot of families who have shared parenting or where the father is the custodial parent," said Kramer.

Kramer says it doesn't matter which parent is home to a child.

"The children need nurturing they need love they need structure they need security," said Kramer.

The balancing act is the same.

"Find some time to be with your child or children that is devoted to them," said Kramer.

For Gross, it's juggling mommy and daddy time, school work and playtime.

"We always try and block out certain times where I'll take Cameron out to go see a children's play or something and my wife will keep Nora," said Gross.

Gross looks to other dads for support. Whether to kick back or bounce around parenting ideas.

"We're struggling with potty training what works for you guys so yeah," said Gross.

Gross says any feelings of isolation are far less important when he knows he's doing what's best for his girls.

"I miss the adult interaction a lot and the responsibilities I used to have in the office but I wouldn't trade it for the world I get to be in the park in the middle of the afternoon," said Gross.

Kramer stresses dads and moms take care of themselves so they can be present in their children's lives.

Also to allow children to be a part of the decision making for one on one time. Dads looking for more information on parenting can visit www.positiveparents.com or call 614-224-0222 EXT. 103.

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