with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
Is it really so surprising that, in a recent survey:
- 37 percent of working dads would quit if spouse could support the family
- Another 38 percent say they would take a pay cut to spend more time with kids
- 36 percent say their job does not offer flexible arrangements like telecommuting
Well, YES, actually. And here is the article for your reference. But why?
Point number one is surprising to me because, frankly, I think it’s bullsh*t. I love my daughter more than anything in the world, but there is no way that I could become a stay-at-home dad. I guess more than one-third of working fathers think they could be, but I would beg to differ. To the 37% of you job-haters, do you really have a concept of how hard it is to just be a parent AND rely on the spouse to make all the money? Didn’t think so.
Point number two is more realistic. As a full-time worker, I don’t see my daughter nearly enough, or not as much as I want to. Fortunately, alluding to point number three, my company does offer a fairly flexible environment and I work from home one day a week and I then get to hang with her more, drive her to school and pick her up. And even in that little bit of extra time, it’s worth it.
Point number three is sad. In this highly technologized world we live in, more than one-third of working fathers say that they cannot telecommute. I realize some professions require being in the office everyday, but I think that is a major shortfall for a company to disallow telecommuting. I work in professional services and have multiple meetings every day. Nothing beats a face-to-face encounter, but the phone still works, as does email, IM, and the like. And beyond working from home, I have some flexibility to leave early, come in late, and work around my daughter’s schedule (for the most part).
What is NOT and should not be surprising is the title of the article: Working dads want more family time. It’s stated as if this is actually news. What man with a family would not want to see them more, and if you work full-time, of course you want to see your family more. It’s almost as if just les working mamas are allowed to pine for more time with their kids, but it’s somehow shocking when working dads get polled and - guess what - they feel the same way.
The good news is that this is getting out there, and the question is whether companies will respond by actually enabling their employees to lead more family-full lives.
A happy mother may make a happy family, but a happy father helps, too.
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