As the feminist movements continue to spread, there’s also a shift in perspective: it is more expected of men to be present for their families rather than being the sole household economic provider.
In the past, men were responsible for paying the bills and bringing home food. While they are still the pillars of the family in terms of financial support, we’ve started to see a balance between work and childcare for modern dads.
Let’s take a look at the state of fatherhood to understand more about our dads. You know, they often don’t say much.
What makes successful dads
Earning high income and having a good social status? No.
While most of us would consider earning money as dads’ main duty, it’s not what makes fatherhood fulfilling. A modern dad values his relationship with family members more than financial security, according to The New Dad: Caring, committed and conflicted survey.
Dads may not be as tender as mums when it comes to parenting. They often take the back seat and only do the heavy lifting. To be more exact, mums always seem to be able to develop emotional intimacy with kids better than dads. And it’s not hard to understand why. [Traditional] dads have to face the expectation of being the breadwinners, they have to prioritise what is more socially accepted and end up devoting most of their time in the office.
With a better work-life balance policy implemented at work comes the new phase of fatherhood. Working remotely from home, kids day, etc. are among the new office trends aiming to help parents spend more time with their children and raise them more efficiently.
As a result, dads are able to be around for their kids more frequently as well as enjoy the pleasure of caregiving. In America, there are in fact more baby diaper changing stations placed in men’s restrooms now. Although mums are still responsible for lion’s share of childcare, dads are getting more involved in domestic activities.
Family activities dads are sharing:
|Teaching to ride a bike
After all, we can’t expect all fathers to be billionaires and a stay-at-home parent at the same time. To succeed in fatherhood is to raise a child successfully. And a great dad, regardless of the situation, will not choose their careers at a cost to the family.
How can dads have it all (too)
The issues of gender inequality, in most cases, indicate the fact that women have to juggle between work and family, yet unable to thrive. Motherhood is tough, but we also overlook the state of fatherhood at times. As working dads climb up the corporate ladder, they have no choice but to invest in more personal time for the financial rewards, which will benefit the family to some extent. It is the same kind of pressure that challenges women in today’s world.
With the limited time off from work, it’s hard for dads to attend to the family the same way mums do. Therefore, fatherhood often focuses on child discipline and less bonding. But dads also want to develop a more positive relationship with their children, like telling bedtime stories and watching Disney cartoons together on a Saturday night. They want to have it all too.
Work-life balance can only do so much. We need a better [corporate] system and equal support for all working parents, not just mums. Many companies actually start to enforce equally paid parental leaves for both parents, for example, Etsy offers six months leaves for new mums and dads and at Netflix, the period is up to twelve months.
It may take time for all businesses to practice a more parent-friendly workplace, but dads can achieve a fulfilling fatherhood in many other ways. Listen to Louis C.K. sharing about his experience as a father: