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.
And you wonder why we get a bad rap?
Men are workaholics. Men/Dads would rather run off to work than spend time with their children. Fathers aren’t *real* parents.
Check out this article from The Guardian, whose first line is: “Working fathers are struggling to juggle the competing demands of family and career, according to a report that shows that they are just as uneasy with their work-life balance as mothers.”
Is that really a surprise to anyone?
“The report…suggests that the long-running debate over the pressures experienced by working mothers, who strive to “have it all” – children and careers – is just as relevant to working fathers.”
My response? Duh.
Plain and simple: if you have two working parents in a household, it will - bar none - be a struggle for both parents to make life work. For it to be *news* that fathers want to see their kids and have to deal with work stigmas and all the other crap is - frankly - a bunch of crap. This is non-news.
Will there ever be “balance” between work and family? No way. Will there ever be true parity in responsibilities? I say hells no.
Perhaps I am a primitive being, but tell me you have true equality and I will drop to my knees and bow.
You divide the work. You do the best you can to balance. But if both parents work, there will inevitably be a constantly shifting scale. If you have the option for one spouse to not work, the division of labor is very clear, and in the majority of cases, that is the mother (though the number of stay-at-home dads is growing, slowly).
But I think this “study” - while somewhat admirable for pointing out that us men actually deal with the work-home balance thing too - shows that we still view us dads as secondary; and perhaps we are, but please, don’t tell me that these are somehow shocking results.
What I would like to see is a study that polls employees across a broad range of industries and that honestly elicits the truth about how “flexible” or “parent-friendly” each company is. Many firms sell themselves to employees as flexible, but once you’re in the door, it becomes a different story.
This whole issue is less about who has more guilt or deals with more bull, and it’s really about whether our employers are enabling the possibility of a closer balance between work and achieving a fulfilling home life (or maybe just a “sane” one).
Would love your thoughts on this issue - has anyone figured it out yet?
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