Will employers think it's weird if I'm a househusband?

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Dear Annie: My wife and I just had our second child (the first one is 2). Since she makes twice as much money as I do, I've been considering staying home to take care of the kids. My question is, When I decide to re-enter the paid workforce, will prospective employers think I'm weird? -- Doting Dad

Dear DD: Well, maybe. But according to research by the Economic Policy Foundation, a Washington, D.C., think tank, you aren't alone. The percentage of men ages 18 to 25 who are staying home to take care of kids under age 6 has jumped from 5.5% of nonworking men in 1994 to 40.2% now. Among men ages 26 to 35, 25% of those who have opted out of the paid workforce are homemakers, and in all other age groups that the EPF studied (ranging from 36 to 65), the percentage of men taking time off to care for family members has more than doubled.

A few employers are starting to get it. Deloitte & Touche, for instance, just launched a program that lets people take sabbaticals of up to five years to attend to personal business, including child care. The idea is to cut the high cost of turnover by ensuring that talent returns to the fold. Deloitte says that of the 28 people who have signed up so far, only one is male, and he's traveling and teaching in China. But hey, if that sort of thing catches on, you may find that a few years from now, nobody will think you are weird.

Send questions to askannie@fortunemail.com. Annie offers advice weekly at www.askannie.com.