Stressed Out Working Fathers?


They may not be happy about it, but working fathers have closed the “guilt gap” with working mothers, admitting they find it difficult to juggle work and family.

Mothers, in turn, are becoming more likely to view earning money as an important part of motherhood.

Both increasingly report they “always feel rushed.”

“Fathers and mothers are becoming more alike than ever before,” said Wendy Wang of the Pew Research Center. Pew recently asked parents to indicate how much time they spend on various activities during the day — as well as how they feel about their choices. They then compared the answers with those given by parents in 1965.

The results paint a portrait of frazzled parents tugged in all directions.

“This is a good news/bad news situation,” said historian Stephanie Coontz, an expert in changing family roles and the author of “A Strange Stirring,” a look at women, men and families in the ’60s.
The good news is that parents are sharing child-care responsibilities. “The bad news is men are under stress now, too,” Coontz said.

In both the 1965 results and the 2012 results just released, mothers and fathers are nearly equal in the amount of combined work they do each week — whether in paid employment, housework or child-rearing.

What has changed — drastically — is who does what and what gets done.

As mothers have moved into the workplace, it has impacted how fathers spend their time as well. Modern dads have stepped up to do more housework (10 hours a week instead of four hours in 1965) — as well as more time with their children (seven hours instead of 2½ hours.)

Today’s fathers genuinely want that daily involvement with their children, said William Marsiglio, co-author of “Nurturing Dads — Social Initiatives for Contemporary Fatherhood.” Those who were raised by a father who spent time with them want to replicate that experience, while those raised by more distant fathers want to be more available to their own children, he said…..

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