Larry Riddle stood at the stove in his family's two-story home on Wausau's east side on a recent afternoon, cooking rice for his 3-year-old daughter Tara.

For Riddle, 56, the cooking — however basic — doesn't come naturally, but he finished the job as he does each day and served his daughter at a kid-sized table in the living room.

Preparing meals is just one of the skills Riddle has had to hone since losing his job in 2009 at Wausau's Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. and becoming a stay-at-home dad.

"I just kind of keep her from killing herself," he joked, describing how he spends his days. "She entertains herself very well, and if she needs to, she'll climb on me a little bit every day."

Men who have been forced by the Great Recession to take on roles traditionally filled by women are increasingly accepting their new duties, and in some instances are choosing to stay home with their children even when other options are available, said Kristen Myers, a sociology professor at Northern Illinois University.

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