Work-life balance isn't just for moms anymore. In fact, because working dads are relatively new to the extreme sport of juggling work and home, researchers find that they actually experience higher levels of work-life conflict than moms, as I wrote in an article for Slate today.
The sluggish economy and job market have put added pressure on all of us at work, and men are no exception. Looking at the last year, one in ten working dads told a CareerBuilder survey their spouse became unemployed and 42 percent have added a second job. They're working longer hours, spending less time with kids and bringing work home, according to the report released yesterday.
At the same time, men are placing more importance than ever on their role as parents, according to a year-long study by the Boston College Center for Work & Family. "I make such a commitment to my family and being there for them," said Tom, one of study participants. "There's just a natural inclination to believe that my wife does the bulk of the work." Today's fathers see their family responsibilities as far bigger than that of breadwinner, and aim to be present and accessible to their children, the study found. Summing it up, Boston College professor Brad Harrington said: "The experiences of men are radically different than they were 25 years ago."
So this Father's Day, consider taking a moment to ask the man in your life -- whether your father, husband or friend -- what challenges he's facing. You just might have some work-life balance truths to share with each other. As Jason Avant, founder of DadCentric, told me: "What fathers want more than statistics and research is knowing that they're not out there alone and that people are understanding and empathetic about what they're going through."
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