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Ex-Medaille publications director settles in as a stay-at-home dad

Don't call Brian Kantz a "Desperate Househusband."

He prefers the title "stay-at-home dad." Kantz is one of many men who've chosen to stay home with their children, waving the morning "bye-bye" to the missus with the briefcase.

"I foresee the day when 'stay- at-home dads' will supplant 'soccer moms' as a parenting force -- and voting bloc -- to be reckoned with," predicts Kantz, 34, who gave up his job as Medaille College's publications director three years ago to care for his family, now including 4-month-old Patrick and almost 3-year-old Brendan.

Numbers of these dads are growing to the point that there are yearly at-home dads conventions.

Kantz said he and his teacher wife, Amy -- they met in a Canisius College philosophy class -- agreed "that if and when we were blessed with a baby, one of us would stay at home to raise the child."

"We didn't want a stranger raising our kid, and we didn't want the burden of our child being placed on a relative," he said. "We'd save our money and do whatever else it took to live on the salary of one liberal arts graduate."

And so they did.

"We're both thrilled with the decision," he says.

Like many of these fathers, Kantz has discovered that with the Internet revolution, if you're lucky enough, you can nearly "do it all" -- thrive with an at-home career while still refusing to pass off the toddlers to other people.

Kantz is also a freelance writer who passes on parenting tips to national magazines such as Men's Health and Best Life.

In documenting the lows as well as the highs of the nurturing life, Kantz transformed his household experience into columns for Western New York Family magazine, providing the familial fodder for his new "Stay-at-Home Dad. Stay. Good Boy." collection of essays.

"Because our society is so geared toward career achievement, I've had to fight the notion that becoming a stay-at-home parent is just a free pass to Easy Street," Kantz says.

"As I left my former job, I noticed that people who don't have kids would shake my hand longingly and say, 'Wow, you're so lucky to be doing this. I'd love to just get out of here and do my own thing.' I could tell they were picturing me sleeping in and watching Seinfeld reruns all day long. The former co-workers who do have kids, however, knew better. They patted me on the back . . . the poor sap headed for the Isle of You Have No Idea What You're In For."

Kantz has even managed to fit in some volunteer work, hoping that it'll be a good learning experience for the boys. He volunteers with the local University at Buffalo-based chapter of First Book, a nonprofit organization providing books to kids from low-income families.

He's also one of the few male volunteers to bring a baby on his Amherst Meals-on-Wheels route.

Have an idea about a local person whose life would make a good profile or a neighborhood issue worth exploring? Write to: Louise Continelli, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240, or e-mail

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