Let’s hear it for the stay-at-home-fathers. These men are helping pave a path forward for more men to pursue primary caregiver roles if that’s what they want to do, and, by default, for more women to pursue a breadwinning role if that’s what they want to do. Census Bureau data estimates there are approximately 189,000 stay-at-home fathers (married men with children younger than 15).
Let’s hear it for the fathers who take paternity leave. Hello Ladies’ informal research shows that when fathers take leave separate from mothers, it leads to more satisfaction in the home. Both parents gain an appreciation for what it takes to care for a baby and manage the house. Plus, if more men took time away from work after the birth of a child, it might take away some of the stigma surrounding women taking time away. And while we’re at it, let’s hear it for Yahoo! and Google. They offer seven and 8 weeks respectively of paternity leave.
Let’s hear it for fathers who do their fair share at home. Pew Research data shows fathers’ time with children has increased to almost seven hours per week and their time spend doing household chores has gone from four hours per week to almost ten. Still women do, on average, fifty percent more housework and childcare then men. And that time spent on the home impacts a woman’s career and wages.
Let’s hear it for the fathers who are stressed about balancing work and family. Also according to a Pew Research, fifty percent of working fathers find it difficult to juggle the two areas of their lives. (Fifty-six percent of women feel the same.) While we hate to see anyone stressed out, the more men who start to advocate for better work-life policies like telecommuting and flex hours, the better for everyone.
So thanks to all the Dads who are serving as role models when it comes to blending family and work, because that’s the reality of the modern family.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalexanderson/7315558084/