Father’s day or not, dads around the world should be given credit for having an active role in raising their kids. But when talk about family-work balance arises, it’s always mothers who get the focus, thanks to cultural orientation and traditional values. Evolving times have changed all that. Dual income households have become the norm, and with both dad and mom working, responsibility for taking care of the children now fall squarely on both parents. But for working fathers, corporate culture especially in big companies have been slow to adapt to the changes and this makes it harder for male parents to balance fatherhood and a career in such a way that he succeeds in giving both equal importance.
How Relationships Benefit from Fathers who Share Home and Parenting Responsibilities
In a recent study done by Pew Research Center and published in March 2013, working dads and moms are almost equal in their feelings of being stressed in finding a balance between work and family life. Fifty percent of working fathers and fifty-six percent of working mothers find the struggle very or somewhat difficult. This is normal though, since transitioning into a new role requires time to ease into it.
But the good news is, another study found that when fathers share in the parenting tasks, both couples reported a better quality of marriage. When both spouses are working, wives who see their husbands helping in routine household chores have a better appreciation for their partners. The risk for divorce decreases by half, the father-child relationship is stronger and their kids grow up without a lot of emotional baggage.
Children who see the fathers take an active role in rearing them:
- Get higher grades in school and more likely to finish a college degree
- Have fewer behavioral problems and are less likely to get into trouble, or take drugs and alcohol
- Have more stable and harmonious relationships
- Have less health problems
How Successful Dads Balance Fatherhood and a Career
They set goals.
Fathers who succeed in the work-family balancing act get help from their wives. They sit down and discuss the matter to avoid misunderstandings and resentment later on. Sharing the responsibility of home and hearth need not be a fifty-fifty thing. A lot of factors come into play – work schedule and obligations, etc. but as long as communication is open and both parents cooperate, maintaining the household will be done willingly and everybody, most of all the children, benefit.
They divide responsibilities.
They divide the chores by discussing them openly rather than left as a tacit agreement. Who gets the kids ready for school , who makes dinner and other routine tasks are assigned and shared. But everything is flexible and there is allowance for last minute changes if something comes up. Raising children and running the house do not always stick to a pattern and parents who keep an open mind when deviation occurs cope better.
They avoid competing with their wives.
Parenting styles differ. Dads who have learned how to balance fatherhood and a career respect their wives’ efforts and recognize the difficulties involved in working while maintaining a well-kept and happy home and children. They avoid criticizing their spouse over parenting styles in petty matters such as bathing and dressing. They don’t compete with their partners for the children’s affection and attention and teach them instead that both mom and dad love them equally.
They are open to hiring help if things get too busy.
Money spent on paying hired help once or twice a month can make a big difference in easing up on housework and spending more time with your wife and kids. Successful dads are willing to part with cash for the luxury of having some time off from house cleaning every month.
They make use of technology.
Technology is probably one of the greatest time-saving creations. You can order groceries online and have them delivered to your home, pay bills, use apps for menu planning and a lot of other things besides. Working dads can ask the office for work-from-home time on some days. Most companies are already adopting flexible schedules that allow such an arrangement.