As a working mom, my husband has the joy of doing many of the things moms typically handle. After school taxi-service, sitting through long sports practices, cooking dinner, and giving the kids baths. And he does it without me. I’m on the air from the time school ends until 7pm.
And he works full time, too.
So I am not surprised to read the report on Fatherhood and Economics just released by the Obama Administration. It highlights the many ways the role of dads have changed.
The number of stay at home dads has doubled in the past 25 years. Including those who do work, dads are helping out more with kids and housework. You can read the full report here.
Of course, the fact that dads roles are changing indicates the way moms roles are changing too. And more often both parents are working (60% of families according to the new federal report). That means we face many of the same demands and challenges of the so-called “second shift”.
The struggles of balancing work and family starts for most every parent at birth. The United States is one of four countries that does not offer paid parental leave. (California does offer 6 weeks of paid maternity leave). Recovering from birth, bonding with the new family member, and figuring out how to live on almost zero sleep with little-to-no resemblance of life pre-baby is rough. But so is living for 3 months without a paycheck.
My family is blessed to have had a chance for me to take time off with the birth of both my babies. Both times my husband took maybe a handful of days.
He makes up for time missed those first few months by getting all that quality time in afternoons and evenings now.
How does your family deal with the work-life balance?