As a mother of a seven-year-old son and a woman with a fulfilling career, I know how tricky it is to balance work with family. Finding that magic harmony between our personal and professional lives is something we all continually strive for, but it's not just working moms who are struggling to "have it all." According to a new report, "Why Parents Aren’t Honest In The Workplace And What Can Be Done To Fix It"—which pulls together stats from numerous studies, including those from Bright Horizons, the Pew Research Center and Boston College's Center For Work And Family—an increasing number of fathers want to be present in their kids' lives too and achieve success in the workplace. And the Boston College’s Center for Work & Family study backs it up. Their research found 86% of dads agreed or strongly agreed that "my children are the number one priority in my life" and yet half of them say "they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance the responsibilities of work and family," according to Pew.
While work/life concerns are often voiced in the media as an issue for working moms, Bright Horizons found that "fathers stress over work/life balance more than college savings or career advancement—two issues employers assumed fathers cared about more." And the younger the father, the more crucial it is. The study found millennials regarded "work/life balance to be more important to their definition of career success than job satisfaction or salary." And the likely end result of not having this balance is burnout. "Among working dads, lack of family time (46%) was a more likely cause for burnout than not advancing in their job (40%), dealing with a difficult project or client (27%), or traveling too much for work (20%), though only just over one-third (34%) of managers think lack of family time would be cause for working-dad burnout," the study says.
So what's the big takeaway from this? Speak up. Meet with your employer to chat about some changes to your schedule, and discuss options with your partner to bring the balance back.
To read more about the results of this study, visit Fatherly.
If you're a working dad looking for more balance, pick up this great book on the topic below.
Do you agree with these findings? Is work/life balance achievable for fathers? What can we do to bring back the balance for working fathers and mothers?