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Is there a Dad Divide to go with the Mommy Wars?

Whether they say it out loud or acknowledge it at all, that work-home divide traditionally reserved for the Mommy Wars can also rear between dads who go off to the office every day and the kind in the trenches with the kids.

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Chris Rock, left, and Tom Lennon with children in a scene from the movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

Melissa Moseley/Lionsgate/AP

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Hey, Mr. Mom.

What's up, Workaholic?

Whether they say it out loud or acknowledge it at all, that work-home divide traditionally reserved for the Mommy Wars can also rear between dads who go off to the office every day and the kind in the trenches with the kids.

There are bound to be rifts, given the growing league of dads staying home at least part-time. But do the paths of work dads and home dads intertwine enough to make them care quite so deeply as the ladies? How exactly are they perceived, not by researchers or journalists, but by each other?

"To be a stay-at-home dad requires a lot of confidence in who you are," said Paxton Helms, 41, in Washington, D.C.

He became one about four years ago, when his daughter was 3 months old. A son followed and he now takes part-time contracts as an international development consultant, with flexible hours. His wife also works part-time.

"The strangest thing that ever happened to me as a [stay-at-home dad] was riding on the Metro with both my kids and a guy asking me, 'So where's Mom?' I couldn't even think why in the world somebody would be asking me that question, so I couldn't even muster an answer," he said.

SUSPICION OVER WIVES, LAYOFFS

Other at-home dads worry about jealousy from working brethren (What are they really thinking about all that time spent with the women?). Or suspicion that they're out of work. And dads on both sides of the divide report the occasional cold shoulder.

"It seems that they try to avoid me or don't want to talk about what life is like for them," said dad-of-one Donald DeLong, 55, a Bloomfield Township, Mich., attorney who acknowledges a "deeply rooted need to work and 'earn a living.'"

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