As a Minnesota father, it is likely that you are noticing a shift in expectations about how you should be involved in your child’s life. As gender roles change and more mothers shoulder the burden of the family income, fathers across the United States are able to enjoy more time with their sons and daughters.
If you are a single or stay-at-home father, you are in good company according to recent research from the Pew Research Center. Indeed, 7 percent of today’s fathers stay at home, nearly double the percentage of stay-at-home dads found in 1989. Nearly half of fathers report that they want the opportunity to spend more time with their children, even though a significant proportion indicate that they are matching or exceeding the amount of time their own parents spent with them.
Working fathers, however, are facing the challenge of striking a healthy balance between time spent at the office and time spent at home. Many report that they would like to have more time at home but are need of the income their jobs supply. At the same time, the pressure on you to provide the sole income may have eased given the increase in working mothers: in nearly two thirds of families with children under 18, both parents are now in the workforce.
You, like many fathers, probably consider fatherhood to be a central element of your identity these days. Interestingly, evidence suggests that even though the amount of time fathers are spending with their children has tripled over the past five decades, many men have less faith in their parenting skills than do mothers.
Despite these sweeping changes, traditional societal views about fatherhood remain. For instance, many people consider the mother’s presence at home to be more important to a child’s development than the father’s presence. Likewise, the image of the father as the primary breadwinner continues on.
This information is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.