Work Life Balance Isn’t Just A Female Problem, Dads Struggle With It Too

Taken from here.

Robert Cribb, a columnist for The Toronto Star, would like you to know that working dads have guilt problems too. In a moving piece that working mothers everywhere can relate to, Cribb describes the absolutely heart-breaking, soul-shattering awfulness that occurs when your child says, “Daddy, I don’t like it when you’re always staring at your phone instead of listening to me.” Believe me Mr. Cribb, that is not a situation that’s unique to fathers. However, the columnist is absolutely correct that men are newer to this struggle than women are. In fact, he says that men are about 40 years behind women when it comes to juggling their professional ambition and their responsibilities to their children.

With every passing year, mothers and children are expecting more from the man of the house. It’s no longer acceptable to work 50 hours a week and come home to a warm meal and a dry martini. Men are cooking, cleaning and helping the little ones with their homework. To be honest, as a modern woman, I have never questioned the idea that my husband would be just as involved in taking care of the house as I was. In reality, he pulls way more than his fair share of the housework and childrearing.

However, that doesn’t mean that a man’s struggle identically mirrors the problems that women have faced since they entered the workforce. Mothers went in to offices, factories and service positions across the country feeling like they had to prove themselves professionally. We weren’t comfortable or secure in our place as employees. Since the beginning, we’ve been working to prove that we could be successful workers and still manage the household. My generation of women has grown up aware of this tenuous balance and planning for our own approach to take care of our families and our bosses. It may not be an easy task, but a majority of us have been preparing for it.

In contrast, this sudden urge to re-prioritize work and homelife is new for men. Until recently, they only had to worry about making money and providing support. Where women went into the workplace needing flexible hours and understand vacation policies, men have always been expected to pull the extra weight. It’s possible that changing the image and expectation of working dads will take just as long as it did to adjust to working moms.

Robert Cribbs make a brave statement when he admits to the difficulties he has being a modern, involved father while still dominating in the office. Just because women have more experience with this struggle doesn’t make their viewpoint more valid. The truth is, work life balance should be an important consideration for every professional and we should all be supporting each other as we navigate a path that works for our family. Men may be new to this fight, but that doesn’t mean that we need to dismiss their problems.

Encouraging work life balance for those who seek it doesn’t mean serving working moms, it means helping everyone who has responsibilities and priorities outside of the office. I’m glad that men are standing up and joining the conversation. Work life balance isn’t just a female problem. We have to acknowledge that before we can hope to make it easier for anyone.

Related posts:

Post from: TheGrindstone


Find Past Posts