Working Fathers Feel Same Pressure as Working Moms

by Melanie Edwards on October 21, 2009 · 7 comments

in Working Mothers

Working fathers are struggling to juggle the competing demands of family and career, according to a report that shows that they are just as uneasy with their work-life balance as mothers.

No surprise there. But, perhaps this isn’t obvious to everyone else.

The above quote is from the UK-based article titled Working fathers want more time with their children too. The article outlines some key points from the Fathers, Family and Work report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). A few interesting points in the article:

  • 42% of fathers felt they were not able to spend enough time with their children
  • About two in five men fear that asking for flexible working arrangements would result in their commitment to their job being questioned.
  • “…employers think of women as a potential burden because they worry they will want flexible conditions. It will be helpful for women…once men are also seen as likely to demand flexible working.”

I guess it’s good for formal research to be completed and a report published on what I feel is something most men and women probably already knew. I know that my husband struggles with being a working dad just as much as I do with being a working mom. Of course he wants to spend more time with baby girl. And of course he has a hard time with balancing it all. He often works with me on planning our evening schedules and household calendar to try to manage all aspects of our daily lives.

Is this news to you or does this just confirm what you already knew? Let me know in the comments what you think of the article, the report, or just working dads in general.

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1 Shalvika Sood October 21, 2009 at 5:22 am

I would say it’s a confirmation and its a growing global trend. I’ve seen this juggle leaves fathers stressed and enormously guilty of missing out on their chidlren’s lives (especially in the formative years). While mothers generally get sympathetic and understanding response to flexi hours, in fathers it is still looked upon as an anomaly. A friend of mine once remarked rather ruefully that from 50% contribution at the time of conception his share in ‘child development’ had fallen down to a mere 10%! He was more upset about the assumption people made that this is would be his natural choice! So in all fairness, it’s time for us to extend the same understanding and the right to choose to fathers as well!

2 Melanie (Modern Mami) October 22, 2009 at 7:26 am

@Shalvika Sood, I completely agree. Too often it’s assumed that dads don’t care. My husband would LOVE more time for our daughter. Great input and I love your friend’s comment.

3 Shalvika Sood October 22, 2009 at 10:00 am

@Melanie (Modern Mami), The good news is that people have already started recognizing it. The bad news is that it might take time for something to get done! So it helps when you write and get people to talk about it. The germ propagates!!

4 Miss Britt October 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I can honestly say that I don’t feel like my husband has that same struggle.

5 Melanie (Modern Mami) October 22, 2009 at 7:24 am

@Miss Britt, Really, no? Not even the more time with the kids part?

6 Angie the Anti-Theist October 31, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I’m a single mom and have so many single dad friends. The main difference is that for most of them there is joint custody, and I have sole custody of Little Man – and no financial or childcare help. I’ve known stay-at-home-dads and was raised by a single working mother. I guess I’ve never really thought of the issues as being mom/dad ones, just working/home issues (or “trying to do both with no money” issues if you’re a single parent)

7 Melanie (Modern Mami) November 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

@Angie the Anti-Theist, There are so many issues, aren’t there? I think it’s hard no matter what.

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