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Pew modern parenthood survey: Fathers caring more – at our house, too

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The study adds, “Feeling rushed is also a part of everyday life for today’s mothers and fathers. Among those with children under age 18, 40% of working mothers and 34% of working fathers say they always feel rushed.” 

I agree that Little House on the Prairie moms didn’t feel the time crunch of modern parents, but time is not the main factor in parenting.

While the numbers may change from poll to poll, the stress over being able to find time and brain space to be good parents remains constant.

I believe good parenting comes down to every moment and can be made or broken in just that time frame. Working and at-home parents make the same minute-mistakes and have the same triumphs. Having played both sides of this fence, I can assure all those in an office from 9 to 5 that you can screw up. 

You can work all day, and when your child comes to you with an issue, you can make just as bad a call on what to do in an instant as you would if you had the whole day to ponder and work the problem.

In my book, all it takes is a dad or mom who comes through the door from work with a hug and a smile rather than a scowl and dismissal to get it right. 

In our home my husband, a newspaper designer, is paid far more than I, but is out of the house and missing time with our children far more. It’s soul crushing for him. I see it in the hunted look he gets every time our kids hand him a report card to sign or I remark about one of them outgrowing another pair of sneakers.

“I’m failing them he says,” and I see him withdraw from them daily instead of reaching for them.

Overall, 33 percent of parents with children under age 18 say they are not spending enough time with their children. Fathers are much more likely than mothers to feel this way. Some 46 percent of fathers say they are not spending enough time with their children, compared with 23 percent of mothers.

I work from home and feel I am failing them every time they come to me to chat or get homework help or ask to go to the park while I’m on deadline. I’m with them and not with them. It’s better for my personal feelings to be working from home, but financially it’s crippling us and is a bigger stress than anything I ever felt at the end of a long workweek as a parent.

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