Working dads spending more time at the office

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Today’s average family looks nothing like the households on 1950s black-and-white TV, where the father wore a suit and tie and mom wore a dress and pearls to do housework. In fact, it’s hard to imagine your average family ever looked like “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver.” The families in those shows didn’t face the same serious problems that most families do. The Cleavers didn’t address staggering unemployment rates and the challenge of the proper work-life balance. Whether your household has two parents or one, four children or two, life is complicated.

Look at these figures from the Census:

-Households headed by a married couple with children under 18 living with them declined to 21 percent in 2010; it was 24 percent in 2000.
-66 percent of children under 18 live with two married parents, a decrease from 69 percent in 2000.

The face of the common household evolves constantly, and this means many parents are sacrificing work for family and vice versa.

Working fathers and their children
Year after year, we’ve seen that working moms and dads do their best to earn a living that pays the bills and keeps their children fed all the while not being a workaholic. If you were OK never seeing your children when they came home from school or watching their soccer games on the weekends, then working around the clock might not be an issue for you. But at a time when many job seekers are still out of work and families are closely watching every dime of their finances, working parents don’t have an easy balancing act.

As part of its annual Father’s Day survey, CareerBuilder found that today’s dads have reason to celebrate and also plenty to worry about.

According to the survey, 84 percent of working dads who were laid off over the last 12 months say they have already found full-time employment. When dealing with layoffs, this news is about as good as you can get. On the other hand, long hours continue to be problematic when trying to spend quality time with children. The survey finds that 22 percent of working fathers are on the job more than an average of 50 hours per week. Last year this figure was only 19 percent.

The result of these longer workweeks can be seen when 39 percent of working fathers spend two hours or less with their children daily, and for 16 percent it’s one hour or less.  These figures are also not surprising when you consider that 20 percent of working fathers bring home work at least three nights each week.

Earning the sole income
One trend that is on the rise is working dads’ reluctance to leave their jobs if given the opportunity.  This year, 33 percent of working dads who are not the sole wage earner said they would quit their jobs if their spouses or significant others earned enough to support the family. Last year 44 percent said they would.

If you want to see even more findings from the survey, you can read the full release here

Let us know how you working dads balance work/life and if it’s only gotten harder since the recession? Or have you been able to relax at all?

100 Comments
  1. Is this supposed to be a surprise? We have a present culture that idolizes motherhood and penalizes fatherhood at every opportunity! Try getting custody of your children in domestic court. The only way you will succeed is if the mother disappears or you have pictures of her with a heroin needle in her arm while having sex with her pimp with the child looking on from the corner. Then, you are accosted with a “child support” formula based on a one household scenario that rapes the institution of fatherhood and even maleness itself. You have to work ninety hours a week to eek out a meager existence that inherently does NOT include a lot of time for the kids. How about MSN doing a story on that. I would LOVE to be involved in that project. CONTACT ME MSN. I GOT SOME INFO FOR YOU!!!

    • I totally agree with you, and I am a women. My husband has a great job, but pays out at least 1/3 of his income to his ex, so we end up struggling financially with the 2 kids we have here at our home. My husband works sometimes 60-70 hours a week in order to pay child support and provide a decent living for the family he has at home. The child support system is so flawed when it comes to most dads.

      • Oh Heather, the embittered second wife speaks! When he leaves you, or visa versa, you will go for child support and alimony, too. Don’t be a hippocrite.

        Are you sure he is actually ‘working’, Heather??? Hmm…..

          • Funny but this article is not about child support. It’s about fathers and I’m sure mothers having to work longer hours to make ends meet. My company has down sized to the point I never imagined, and as such I have been asked to pick up other areas work load. Sure I could refuse, but then I could find myself out on the street.
            Now my two cents on the subject that most people here have posted. (By the way off topic).
            Begin a single dad with four children and chasing my ex for child support I can sympathize with single moms and dads. The reality is that most women go through the child support issue than men do. It’s this day and age that you have men going through the same. The irony of my story is that my ex is helping her new husband pay his child support. The bottom line is we are the parents, the adults and need to own up to our responsibilities. So to the men here who are speaking badly about women, your wrong and should be a shame. Whatever issues you have with your spouse should be with them, don’t take it out on your children.

    • Yup, totally loaded against you. When you walk into that courtroom, your ex-wife, and children become wards of the state. It is essentially a property case; your wife and child become Chattel of DHHS, you pay. Your state collects 2 dollars from the Federal Government for every 1 they collect from you. A bit perverse system that penalizes people trying to do the right thing. You may as well get a law degree if the kids are young.

      I think NBC’s ratings would shoot through the roof, if they picked up that story.

    • I suppose that one could either try not alienating one’s wife so that she files for divorce or, conversely, not leaving because you are “unhappy.” It is true that women tend to get custody of children (whether they should or not) and that then the court provides for those children–leaving the other parent to find a way to provide for those children and also for himself. The key here is to realize that you should stay in the marriage until the children are grown.

      You might try not getting divorced or not having children if you don’t plan to stick around. Personally, I have very little sympathy for men who break up their families (it is usually the male who breaks up the family by poor behaviors–though it is usually the female who files for divorce). I do have sympathy for men who have partners who are abusive or abusers (drugs/alcohol) or promiscuous, and who still get the same preferential treatment–but, you know, that’s so rare that courts don’t worry with it.

      The main issue these days is men–go look it up–when it comes to divorce. Men do not carry their weight around the house, get resentful, and call themselves “Mr. Mom” when they are doing far less than half the household labor (yes, studies prove this). Men do not make sacrifices at their workplace and with their careers so that they can spend time with their children (there would be a stronger incidence of the “Daddy track” if they did) because they emphasize their “breadwinner” role and dump everything else off on Mom, whose job and responsibilities they consider to be “lesser.” Etc., etc., etc.

      I personally think that no one ought to be allowed to get divorced if there are young children in the picture–separated, but not divorced. We should very much frown on men who create serial families–if you already made one family and left it, don’t make another.

      Basically, if you can’t commit to the family that you had, and you refuse to make the sacrifices it would take to make it work–don’t come whining to others that the courts don’t make it easy for you to go out and remarry and create yet another family. Women (and you can look this up) and their children usually wind up below the poverty level while men (and you can look this up) create a new family that lives above the poverty level all the while the men whine and bit**.

      Get married and stay married. Or, get married and don’t have children until you are a grown up. Or, get divorced, live a frugal life, and don’t remarry and create more children until the ones you already created are grown. Get over the fact that your ex might get a new boyfriend (or serial boyfriends) the same way that you will get a new girlfriend. You only get my sympathies if the woman is one of those fairly rare creatures who is abusive or a substance abuser and shouldn’t have gotten custody in the first place. Otherwise, quit whining.

        • Moon, you’re correct on most accounts. However, we can’t look past the current trend of women saying they can do it all these days. By doing so, they alienate their husbands and make them feel useless. In the end, it is the guy’s fault for not sticking up for himself, and for his responsibilities, to be sure, but we can’t ignore the fact that it’s a two-way street.

          There’s a balance that’s necessary to be successful in all aspects of life. I’m afraid, we’re way out of balance these days. Solution: Less is more. Find joy in the simple things. Don’t pay attention to the media.

          And to the point of the article. Move into a smaller house, lessen the bills and SPEND TIME with your kids. This is critical.

          my 2-cents.

      • AMEN I say to you!!! Thats the problem with the f’d up world!!!!!! Marriage is a sacriment, not just a piece of paper.

    • I don’t know what state you live in but child support is a formula based on the income of both parents and both parents are responsible for proportionate shares based on their income. I don’t understand the mentality of men (and women) who resent paying child support. Why wouldn’t you want the absolute best for your children? The children’s lifestyle should not suffer because the parents couldn’t make their marriage work. They should live the life they would have had if the parents had stayed married and that is how the child support formula is supposed work. I don’t want to stereotype and say that every situation is the same because I’m sure there are women, especially if they remarry, who are better off financially than their ex-husband but typically that is not the case. Child support does not go as far as you think especially when the cost of living increases as drastically as it has the last several years. My children’s needs come before my own but my ex-husband has never once deprived himself of anything to do for his children and he pays less than the state guidelines. Instead he lives a life of excess and won’t do one thing more for his own children. I know a lot of great divorced dads out there who do a lot for their children, over and above what they are legally obligated by the court to do. Those dads should be commended and so should the women they are with because they put the children first as it should be.

    • Boo hoo. Women give up A LOT when they have children. I had a high paying career as a software developer, and I was a really good one, and quit when I had my kids since my huband and I didn’t want our kids in daycare for 70 hours a week (we both easily put in 60+ hours per week). We had the same job and income and it was me who chose to quit because lets face it women are, not always but in most instances, just more nurturing and we both knew I was better with the kids. For me to give up my career was a huge sacrifice and required me to have a lot of trust in my husband not to leave me since I’m basically unemployable as an engineer now since I’ve been out of work for 7 years. If my husband left me know I’d be lucky if I brought in 30k a year as an admin. So if he left me yeah he better be paying me a good chunk of his income.

    • This culture does not idolize motherhood nor does it idolize fatherhood. We are not even pro-family. I have seen as many women and children suffer at the hands of the courts as I have seen men suffer. You would be surprised how many consider women and children as second class citizens. Most of the children that I work with live in poverty with their mothers.
      If you are the better parent and deserve to have more time with your kids I’m sorry to say that means nothing in this country. I wish you luck, I don’t like to see anyone taken advantage of but as hard as it is on you it’s generally harder on the kids.The courts will decide for the child how often he/she will see each parent and for how long. Sounds barbaric, doesn’t it. That’s because it is.

    • You have some serious anger issues “David”. Hope you get the help you so desperately need! What a blessing (in your case) that your children have been put with their stable, responsible and capable mother. I pity her for having to deal with you. People like you and “Heather”, the uncontrollably jealous second wive, are why there is child protective services.

    • You have some serious anger issues “David”. Hope you get the help you so desperately need! What a blessing (in your case) that your children have been put with their stable, responsible and capable mother. I pity her for having to deal with you. People like you and “Heather”, the uncontrollably jealous second wive, are why there is child protective services.

      • Your comment is something that you need to think about.
        Coming from being a second wife.. I am not jealous of any woman. And any that uses a child as a pawn. SO, maybe there should be some protection of the child from sometimes their OWN Mother.
        No bitterness here sweetheart.. I love my Mother & Father. Ongoing relationships with many people. Sourpuss. Poo Poo on your day!!!

    • I have to agree with you on that one. If I could earn enough to support my family with stablility in my trade (Real Estate/Banking) HILARIOUS, right now.
      ..Anyway, I would be more than happy to glorify my Better Half & raising our Daughter. She needs me, but she really needs him. She needs to have a relationship with him, in order to cultivate a solid foundation of esteem. This will not come back to bite us in the ass, if given that chance. She needs to know what it is like to have the most important man in her life show her how to be true to herself, so she will not seek it out negatively.
      AND it would enable us to get from under one nasty child support payment to a woman whom is a pig living in TX. Well if anyone knows good ole Texas, 21% of net income for 1 child. Are you f$%king kidding me? And the child does not even come to visit. Mothers should ONLY be glorified IF she deserves it. I tell you, enough women I have met in my life that were Mothers.. SHOULD HAVE BEEN STERILE.

        • This “second” family is getting raked over the coals either way. We are a military family.. So no matter how much or little my Better Half works, the pay is the same. And the whore of a Mother of the first child trapped herself a constant flow of money. (Sorry, but when you stop taking the pill cause you see a Government paycheck, you are a whore.) And then when the broad does not get her way.. She decides to hold the boy over our heads. I will never be a part of the boy’s life, he will never meet my daughter (his Sister, for Christ’s sakes) & all of this over venom that spewed out of her stupid mouth. Then had the nerve to ask if she could legally change their son’s name. SO, of course.. the Better Half said, “You know that means you will not receive child support?” And what did that puke of a human being say?!?! “Well I am not going to do that.” Why would she?!?! Since she receives now $767.00 per month in child support, she has not called ONCE!!! BUT before that she called all of the time needing money. Here is the kicker, her lying cheating Husband has 2 kids of his own he pays out the ass for support. She is looking for a meal ticket kiddies. Not having kids because she is a good person & deserves to be a Mother. I DO NOT CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS AFTER I POST THIS EITHER, but when my Hunny retires from the military her child support will drop to less than $100.00 per month. I will work FT. She needs money, she better get herself a better paying job. I do not reward bad behavior & certainly will not allow my family to be mistreated like this & then let it go. I am not that Christian. So all of the women & men who think tearing into someone’s wallet will justify the split.. You only hurt your child(ren). Stupid.

          • My husband and I have 2 children and he pays child support for one with someone else. Long story short he is payin out the ass for that kid and has never seen it. He don’t have pic’s and we don’t even know where he is now. When the other woman was pregnant we told her that we could adopt the baby b/c she is a pill whore. She wouldn’t and when she had the baby she went back to doin everything. I know that you have to support your children but its b/s when you are payin for one you have never seen and the only reason why you know the name of the baby is because of paper work. The really bad part is she was tryin to get child support from him in 3 different states.What can I say she is a stupid bitch.

  2. absolutly agree, I am a man, have custody of my boys. Have for the past 7 years. Dont get a dime child support, and the system refuses to do jack about it. but if I pay even 3 days late on my other child, I am in jail, with suspended liscense in a heart beat!

    • The system believes only one thing – The women are always the victims and the men are always the abusers.

      A friend of mine has custody of his children. He called to report that his ex-wife was not paying. The state employee started yelling at him thinking that he was late. Once the state employee realized it was the ex-wife, the state employee sent him on goose chase.

  3. The 40 hours a week is really not the problem – its the 3 to 4 hours per day commuting to/from work that takes away time from the family. I can’t afford the McMansions that are located closer to work.
    My wife does not work & if she did, 1/2 her income (if not more) would go toward day care.
    I wish I could move away from the insanity of the east coast (I know the ‘waste’ coast isn’t any better), and find a job where I’m only driving 20-30 minutes to work.

  4. After being laid off, I found another job after 9 months. The job that I lost pays 1/2 of the job I found…added hours to make up the diffrence in income has to come from somewhere…always family time.

    • Norm, thanks for finally addressing what the article was actually about. That is, that father’s are spending more hours on the job to make enough money to support their families. As near as I could tell, this article didn’t make any moral judgment about either parent. If anything, my impression was that it was praising–albeit it faintly–the fathers who put in the time to make sure their families are cared for.

  5. You are all right on with this. I work for the most oart 6 days a week as the sole support for my family and I make decent money. If my wife went back to work I would have to pay day care and other related expenses that we take up most of what she brought home and a strager would be raising my child. I cherish the time I have with my son but I dont get enough and my wife gets upset when I cant do more. There needs to be some relief from the madness or Dad may not live to see him grow up. So much for retirement.

    • My wife and I are trying to do what seems to make most sense with our situation. I have the sole-supporting job and make sufficient income to support the family. But no matter what you bring in, you need to live within your means. We do this by living according to a budget each year. We look at incoming income verses outgoing expenses, and as long as we have enough to pay for expenses, then I go to work and my wife is the homemaker. We’ve been doing this ever since we started having children almost 16 years ago and the plan has not done us wrong yet.

      You start getting itchy for your spouse to go back to work so you can have a little extra income, save for a emergency, take a nice vacation, save for college, etc. But until the kids are in Jr. High, you will end up paying have your spouse’s income towards childcare. It’s not worth it. You might as well have your spouse stay home and just live within your means.

      But if an opportunity comes up for your spouse to work part time during the hours of 9:00 am and 2:30 pm (while the kids are in school), you then have the option for your spouse to go back to part time work and make a little extra income. But in doing so, the other spouse will need to take on a little more of the duties at home. But if you can do this, go for it. Just don’t let the kids be on their own between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm – this is when teenagers typically get into trouble. And leaving them on their own will only make life harder for them as they mature into adulthood – they will most likely be dealing with issues of abandonement.

      Life is truly challenging for a family that sticks together and even more difficult for one that doesn’t. You need to consider what you will be able to sacrifice on the work side, the income side and the family side in order to figure out what works best for your situation. There is no correct formula for this; everyone’s situation is slightly different and can be affected by outside family support, friends and relatives, and work opportunities. It is a pure crap-shoot, but if you are lucky and work hard enough at it, you just might all come out of it with little to no baggage.

      • There are plenty of teens on their own from the hours of 3-6 that don’t get into trouble, and don’t have abandonment issues. It’s all in your parenting.

        The abandonment issue statement was a little absurd, don’t you think? I’ve never heard of a child having abandonment issues because they were left on their own as a teenager for 3 hours a day!!!

  6. Get a grip. You have children. Pay up. be happy you can. Or don’t have kids. Or, do the other parent a favor and ask to be let out. But don’t bitch and moan about it. Not fair to kids. And you current spouses who bitch about the ex and her/his kids– you are number two. think about it. and probably wasn’t a secret was it. Folks who make decisions and don’t like the results later on down the line are not uncommon. You father rights’ guys are ridiculous and you waste everyone’s time. Not fair to everyone in the court system who has to listen to your sorry horseshit in court day after day after day you bunch of immature whiny babies. You take time away from folks who really have problems that need help.

      • I agree. Moon, whatever happened to you quit placing every other man in the same boat. Like it or not life is not easy these days. The system is practically making slaves of EVERYBODY and everybody is suffering. Quit blaming all of your problems on men. Alot of men do not deserve the situation they are in just the same as women. Trust me, I’m trying my best not to ‘spew the same shit around’. That doesn’t work for anybody. So good luck with your troubles and for God’s sake try to cheer up.

  7. David Loomis, I am sorry about your situation, but please, society does NOT idolize motherhood. When I had my first child in 1989 and decided to stay home with her, people would say, “Well what are you going to do at home all day,” or ” That’s ALL your going to do, stay home with your baby?” Like that’s not a job? I got the same thing with my second child. Motherhood is trivialized in my opinion, at least by mothers who work outside of the home and look down on those of us who don’t. I work hard at home. I homeschool my 13 year old and I manage household chores and maintain the family budget, no small task with a one income family. My husband works hard at his job, and I appreciate it and work very diligently to make the most of what he makes. So, please, don’t generalize. Moms and Dads both have it hard these days.

    • The one thing stay at home moms like you refuse to understand is that women who have to dedicate 70 hours a week to their jobs (40 hours on the job, getting ready time, commuting time, lunch hours), come home from work and do EVERYTHING you stay at home moms do – they just do it when everyone else has gone to bed and with far fewer hours to do it in than stay at home moms. Housecleaning? Mom. Laundry? Mom. Grocery Shopping? Mom. Cooking? Mom. Picking the kids up/dropping them off? Mom. Scheduling appts? Mom. Take time away from job when kids are sick or need medical/dental attention? Mom. Disciplining the kids? Mom.
      Need I go on?

      • I do agree that working mom’s do have it harder than stay at home moms but while your children are in day care all day mine is messing up my home all day. Your children are away from home when you are, making their messes where someone else cleans it up.

        • Catherine, I homeschooled my now 21 year old, and I still homeschool my 13 year old. That IS a full time job, plus ALL the other things that you mentioned.
          We’re in the same boat. Let’s respect each other.

          • well said. It makes me sad to see women compete over who has the more difficult time. Can’t we agree that we ALL work hard?

            I have done both roles, stay at home AND working mother, and neither is easier than the other. When you are a stay at home mom, your hours spent that would be working are filled with other things that working moms don’t get the opportunities to do.

            This is what is wrong with our country now. 50 years ago the woman’s “job” was taking care of her children, husband and home. Now that job is looked down on. People assume that you sit on the couch eating bon bons and watching the soaps all day– this couldn’t be further from the truth!

      • Working moms don’t do all the same things that stay at home moms do. Yes, you probably do the same amount of housework, but those hours that you spend at work, we spend raising our children while yours are in the care of someone else. I have nothing but respect for working mothers, and I think that children can and do thrive with both types of parents. But do not assume just because you work and I don’t that you do more than I do.

      • I disagree.Housecleaning? us, the kids. Laundry? Me, the son. Grocery Shopping? All of us. Cooking? Split days between all of us. Picking the kids up/dropping them off? It’s called walking.

      • The one thing stay at home moms like you refuse to understand is that women who have to dedicate 70 hours a week to their jobs (40 hours on the job, getting ready time, commuting time, lunch hours), come home from work and do EVERYTHING you stay at home moms do – they just do it when everyone else has gone to bed and with far fewer hours to do it in than stay at home moms. Housecleaning? Mom. Laundry? Mom. Grocery Shopping? Mom. Cooking? Mom. Picking the kids up/dropping them off? Mom. Scheduling appts? Mom. Take time away from job when kids are sick or need medical/dental attention? Mom. Disciplining the kids? Mom.
        Need I go on?”

        Catherine,

        I ‘m a Dad who has stayed married for well over 20 years. I have a very demanding job and have been blessed to never have to file for unemployment
        in nearly 40 years of working. My wife doesn’t work outside of the home.
        I do the grocery shopping, cooking, errands, car repairs, kids appointments, all of the upkeep inside and outside of the house. My wife doesn’t like to cook
        and says the outside is my job. A lot of spouses would have left years ago
        inside and outside. My wife doesn’t like to cook but she will load the washer
        because she doesn’t trust us to that part. So just letting you know not everyone fits the stereotype.

      • Catherine,

        Wow – you left out the most important item. Taking care of your husband.

        In my situation – mom does laundry and cooking. I do the grocery shopping, trash and outside maintenance. Everything else we split – cleaning, appointments, homework…

        I suggest you and your husband take a course called Family Dynamics. Both of you need to put each other first – even above the kids. If you take care of each other – the kids will be nurtured as well.

      • EVERYTHING? ok…so in addition to your 40 hour a week job and all your house responsiblities, are you coaching a soccer team? running a girl scout troop? working at your kids school running the library? watching neighbors kids on holidays and half days so they can go to work? of course you aren’t because you can’t. I do these things because lots of working parents don’t have the time. it is not possible. however, please respect my choice. appreciate the village concept of parenting. don’t play the victim, and appreciate all the other things stay at home parents do to help your kids in addition to their own.

      • Point here, point there. Boo Who.. Our Daughter is not in daycare. I worked outside of the home, to which my commute was 3.5 hours EVERY DAY! I now work at home (and intensive work that takes a lot out of me). Take care of the yard & other “labors” outside. Clean the house & EVERYTHING that goes along with it. I do all of the shopping, budgeting & other tedious tasks required enabling our family to be taken care of. While my Husband commutes 150 miles daily.. I do ALL of this with the understanding that this is how it will workfor us. So stay at home vs. going to work. Whatever! I have respect for both.

  8. Seems like lots of problems could be solved parents could figure out how to get and stay married. What a novel concept! It’s worked well for me so far … 5 years down, hopefully the rest of eternity to go. ;)

    • 5 years down? That’s the average length of today’s “trial marriages”. Best of luck going the distance in this culture. My wife and I poured 25 years of marriage into raising our 3 sons. She stopped working for 9 years while the children were pre-school age, then resumed her career as a flight attendant, which had mixed effects. I had a fantastic relationship with my sons because I was the one there every night & morning, feeding & caring for them & getting them to school/sports/friends, etc.when she was gone to work for days at a time, then going to my job, which averages 60 hrs per week. My wife was an even better mom than I was a dad. However, we failed to see that our financial pursuits were undermining our family values. Now we have 3 amazing sons that are focused, wise, and balanced, but our divorce was finalized this month. Preservation of marriage and family should always trump financial pursuits. There are many cultures where affluence is not present, but family solidarity is, and in my opinion, has far greater value than any amount of money. I learned the hard way. Ignore peer pressure, and keep your marriage quality the highest priority, and the other stuff will work itself out, regardless of how much or little resources you two can muster. Keep the faith!

      • Wait – Your post has been the best.

        I will pray for you and your family. Divorce is a very emotional event – even when it has been obvious for years.

        I don’t know how your relationship is with your ex-wife – but my ex-wife and I reconnected about a year after the divorce. We attended an 8 week class called Family Dynamics which really helped. I recommend this to all my friends – especially the ones who are on the path to marriage. It really exposes the truth behind your partner – and whether or not they will put forth the effort.

      • Ditto. Life is about personal interactions, not financial gains. I think we all pursue what society tells us is important. In this day and age that seems to be about financial abundance, not family values.

  9. People like FOB are the reason for broken familys self entitled H**K**RS , that think the man should have to wait on little miss princess hand an foot after working 80 hour weeks to try and pay for some shoes that she doesnt need . I see nothing wrong with divorcing the little ho after she gets pregnant on purpose to trap the man. I think every man should take care of their kids just not support the exwife and her deadbeat crackhead pimp boyfriend .

    • the hardest button to button, as jack white says. yeah, women are falling over themselves to get pregnant by you and be responsible for a child for the rest of their lives by themselves so they can get a check and unending griping from you. You should move to Texas and go to jail, then someone will pay your bills since you seem to think that is such a dream.

  10. I recently quit my job as an attorney to be a stay at home dad. Being a stay at home parent is tough – it really is a full time job. But it is even tougher for men. Anytime my son and I go out anywhere on a weekday, it is always the same question: Are you enjoying your day off with your little helper? I’d love to respond: Actually, I’m on the job right now. But of course that would never fly. Somehow I just don’t see women getting asked those same questions.

    So on this Father’s Day weekend, please show the love to all those dads out there who are working everyway they can to best provide for their families.

  11. I am a woman who has raised my 18 year old son with no child support since he was 3. I chose to stay single raising him so as to not allow any more abuse to be brought into our home. I would love to get some of the over $ 13,000 back child support the father owes us. He continues to hide and work under the table.
    It has been a REAL struggle balancing daycare, work, soccer, etc. But I did it with no assistance. We don’t have big screen tvs, new cars or lavish vacations. The more you spend, the more you need to earn.
    The courts know where the father is but since I have never been on welfare or food stamps they basically let him go scott free. I can’t believe what some divorcees receive, not just child support, but health and dental ins for the kids too. Some even receive alimony! Wow.
    I agree that they shouldn’t be able to make more babies if they can’t be responsible for the ones they’ve already created.

    • I believe People like you should be commended , you work and do the best you can instead of sitting on your bottom crying saying that a man should provide for you , what state do you live in ? In Tx you go to jail for not paying child support , but its not bad at least i got to eat and had a roof over my head , i couldnt afford that after paying my ex.

    • Just because a court awards support and possibly benefits does not mean the custodial parent actually receives them. I am sorry that you had the entire financial responsibility for you and your son, but that is sort of the point: each parent should do the very best he or she can to protect and care for the children. That said, it is inconceivable to me that there are parents who walk away from that duty and, it sems, justify that by complaining that the courts are unfair. You did good, the father didn’t. Hurtful to your child maybe, but his father’s character is not your responsibility.You’ll get stars in your crown in Heaven;-)

  12. Child support from the father is not a given…..If the ex-husband is self-employed, it is sooooo easy to hide income. He portrayed himselft as being so poor, yet drove new pickups, Dump trucks–bought new four-wheelers and snowmobiles. Most of them were registered in his mother’s name & he diverted money to her & she would pay his bills. He considered it a personal goal to keep me poor…he had relative success with this. He knew that going back to court, again, would be cost prohibitive for me, and the attorney fees would exceed the child support to be received.

    He didn’t file taxes as he knew if he did, there would be proof of his income. I knew this & tried to get the IRS to make him file, but no one there would listen to me. He got cancer & died 10 years after we split. The kids got Social Security survivors benefits. How do I know for sure that he stopped filing taxes? The Social Security office staff called me (how many times as ANYONE from SS ever called you?) and they wanted to know how come there was no income showing in the last 8 years of his life. I told them the last couple years were due to illness, but the years before that were due to him avoiding paying both child support and taxes.

    I only got child support after he died…thanks to SSA.

      • Cheating was not an issue….on either side…But, I don’t expect a DB like you to understand that. Believe it or not, people divorce for other reasons.

        It’s because of nasty men like you that I stay away from them. I work two jobs, raise my honor-role, well-mannered, high achieving kids. THe smarter, hard-working single mothers out there, like me & Terri, learn very quickly to avoid men like you and like our exes. We are too busy raising our children and paying our bills to waste our limited time and money on lost causes. Our children deserve more–even if their fathers don’t see that.

      • Gee, Dustin, you sound like a bitter, misogynist piece of shit — wonder why? Did you get dumped by your wife, as you should have?

        Here’s an idea for where you should move: how about fallling off the face of the earth?

    • Louise et al.: I have a similar horror story of my own to share.

      In brief, my ex left me with most of our marital debts and got out of paying much of them or the alimony he had been ordered to pay on the grounds that he had remarried and had a child. How is this allowed to happen? What kind of irresponsible person leaves one marriage in ruins, with unpaid debts, only to start all over, courtesy of his former spouse? Yes, I know: I have my answer.

      Let me add, also, that while we were together, my income was much lower than his, as it still is (we’re in very different industries). All the same, I was no slouch: I worked the entire time we were together, often more than one job at a time, while going to school. I also took care of most of the housework, cooking, errands, etc., as well as supporting his various jobs and business ventures. The one smart decision I made where he was concerned was never having kids with him. However, I’m sure greg is right: there are many stupid women out there, like my ex’s new wife: they deserve each other.

    • Louise,

      Did he have that pattern before – hiding his money from the IRS? I am just curious because I know alot of self-employed men who do this.

      Either way what he did was wrong.

      • Tom,
        You are correct on your assumptions……Integrity was a major issue with him…while he didn’t cheat on me (and I am fairly certain about that-but after all these years, don’t really care if he did–been too long now)he did try to cheat everything else. Like not paying bills, avoiding other business-related taxes, scamming government to get free stuff (like free health insurance for our kids when I KNOW he made way more than the income guidelines required), Scamming customers by doing crappy, incomplete work.(then they would call the house & I would have to answer the phone to defend him, when really his actions were not defendable.)
        I didn’t like the sleazy feel to all of it. So after 10 years of marriage, I left. I still enabled him to see the kids alot….didn’t play games with his visitation–he had them when he was supposed to and more. It was the right thing to do. But he figured out pretty quickly that civil decrees are not enforceable, all you can do is keep going to court–we went twice, I spent $30,000 between the two. Got two different decrees, he followed neither. I stopped relying on him for anything–moved about 2 hours away to a good job with decent benefits. I decided he wasn’t dependable while we were married…being divorced wouldn’t make him dependable either.

  13. I’m 24 and a lot of the young adults in my generation are children of divorce (including myself. FYI my parents divorce was amicable and my mother who had full custody never got a dime of child support because my father was out of work at the time of the divorce and she never contested the $0 child support order-I’ve seen the divorce agreement he was ordered to pay nothing). You know what almost all of them say, if you have children divorce is not an option! This opinion does not apply to people who had children out of wedlock or got married only because they got pregnant. For everyone else, once you have kids you should stick it out.

    • Maybe your father wasn’t beating your mom. I don’t feel ANY mother should stay married in that case. I chose the lesser of 2 evils. Gee, thanks for the opinion of “most of them”.

      • I would phrase it as any person being abused should not stay in a relationship (marriage or otherwise). Both men and women are abusive – physically, emotionally, verbally…

        Would you be better off in 1 dysfunctional abusive family – or 2 less dysfunctional and happier families.

        Kids learn about relationships from their parents – so if there are problems which neither are willing to change – then I would recommend splitting the family to end the abusive cycle.

  14. I agree with all of you, BUT my situation is a little different. My problem is paying the bill. No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep up. Just 1 day late and my credit card interest goes up. I’ve tried to get my interest lowered, but the answer is “My credit is poor, so I am at a rick of defaulting on the loan” But what they a re really saying is “Why should I lower your rate, when I can get more from you”.

  15. This is some of the saddest communication I could have imagined when I decided to read the comments after this report. I’m truly sorry for each of you who have gone through the pains you’ve described. It sounds torturous; I sympathize with each of you.
    I’ve been married for nearly 17 years and have been in a relationship with the same woman for nearly 20 years and, believe me over 20 years of life you can find plenty of reasons if you’re looking for them to fight and/or break-up and leave, the secret to a long and mostly happy marriage is going into it with a forever mentality. If you start with the idea that you cannot divorce someone, it changes the way you approach life, you don’t do things that you know could lead to that end and, when problems come along, because they do in life, you buckle down and work hard to get through them.
    You might say what do you know, you’ve never gone through anything like we have, and well you’d be wrong. I had one of those other kind of relationships that some of you have endured, a son 5 at the time and his mom and I could not decide to get along with each other for each other’s sake or his, both of us selfish and self-centered, neither of us will to be dominated by the other or, do more for one another then was being done for us.
    Sadly, the last three generations have been affected by the selfishness, we saw our parents fight and, talk bad to each other and, divorce, and then we followed their examples and, put our children through the same pain. We didn’t know how at the time or didn’t care enough to stop the behaviors that we saw in our parents, so we were to repeat their errors.
    So what changed? Or what has to change to make things better? You have to have a change of heart, a change in you, where other people become more important to you. You have to be willing to make changes in your behavior, in your thoughts and, in your beliefs. You have to believe that there are people and things worth making sacrifices for, and you have to be willing to love and except people even when they aren’t “perfect”, when their bodies are more frail than you think they should be, or their minds don’t work the way you think they should, or they don’t wear the clothes you think they should.
    So what is the point, there is no perfect relationship, perfect spouse, perfect job, perfect child or, perfect parent. You’re not, I’m not, you’re parents aren’t, you’re grand-parents aren’t or weren’t. You and I have to be willing to love in spite of those imperfections and learn to live with life’s difficulties, facing each challenge and obstacle head on together as, fathers, sons, daughters, mothers, husbands and, wives.
    So, go to work at whatever job you are capable of doing, work whatever hours you have to work, then come home and love those close to you and, give what you have to give. Life isn’t easy or simple and, I’m sure it never was. Good luck and best wishes to each of you in the struggles you are living through!

  16. The legal system makes the man a second class citizen in any relationship with a woman so as to hopefully cancel out the biological weakness woman feel in relation to men. At least, I can see nothing else that makes sense of the current system. Women and the politco-legal system want anti-male policies to acts as a “counter-terrorism” ploy to deter abusive males. Apparently the majority of women currently believe that women have raging hormones that make them fall in love with “bad boys” who treat them poorly, run off and leave them with the kids, and are generally psychologically and physcially abusive. The women put up with it because once the sex-bond is formed, the hormones make a women in “heat”(I mean “love”) want to stay with the guy like a lovesick heffer. After he hurts the woman and she withdraws, he punches her buttons,and then they reconsummate their sick relationship. Their psychotically passionate “makeup sex” reinforces the operant conditioning of the original hormonal sex bond. Itts a classic case of operant conditioning straight out of the book of behavioral psychology. This is why the majority of battered woman go back to their abusers: the sex! Or at least, the masochistic surrender it triggers in most of them.

    • Dude, I totally disagree. It is not all about the sex for women. Never has been and never will be. Not that women don’t like sex…it’s just not EVER the reason they choose to stay with or leave a man. For a woman it all comes down to whether or not she feels loved and cared for by the man.

  17. Wow!! I read all of the comments here and I am greatly saddened. I agree with you, MartyinAustin. I am a mother of two and I have been in the same situations as a lot of you. I have been a SAHM, a working mom (who worked LOTS of hours, a student mom, a working and student mom at the same time, and I am currently an unemployed married mom. It’s really tough right now because we’re broke, but don’t qualify for any assistance and don’t want to. I’m unemployed, looking for work, looking into going to school, learning about starting a business, being a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, etc. Our income went WAY down when my company shut down, because I made most of the money. So, I am prepared to grasp the first opportunity that I find to keep us from homelessness. We have downgraded our home, lifestyle, clothing, diet, etc. and there is nothing more that we can do. My husband is working two jobs. I get no child support from my son’s father. Finding a job is hard because the automotive industry has left this area and that’s what I know. Can’t take a job that pays less, because after the expenses of daycare, gas, blah, blah, I would be paying to go to work. We have no health insurance.
    Because of all of this and more, I can sympathize with a lot of you and I feel no need to bash anyone.
    We need to help each other. Wish each other well. Accept that we are all different.
    I hope that all of you continue to work hard as you obviously all are, and that things improve for everyone.

    • Missyanne, We’ll be praying for you and your family, do you belong to a church, most churches can help with the neccessities of life, second, lots of the auto industry jobs have moved here to Texas, San Antonio has a Toyota plant which has brought with it support businesses.

      Maybe, you and your family should see what might be available and consider a move. I hope everything works out for you and wish I could be of more help.

  18. Becoming a parent and being a good parent is a choice. If fathers choose to work 60-70 hours per week in order to support their family, then why penalize them for it. However, some fathers use work as an escape; sometimes, they’re not really at the office because they are engaged in “extracurricular activities”. The superwoman image is highly overrated; no woman can do it all. Celebrity moms have staff in their homes. Single mothers don’t enjoy being single mothers. That’s just something that women have accepted as the result of a choice to have the child or children. Think ladies, while you’re at home withe kids all the time, where is he? If your body has changed, how does he view you? A man loving you because you are his wife and the mother of his child/ren is different from a man being attracted to you. If a family is struggling financially and they already have 1-2 children, why make the choice to have another. Anytime you (male or female)have sex without using birth control you are making the choice to have a child.
    There’s an old saying : “Mama’s baby, Papa’s maybe”. A man can deny the child; culturally and biologically the father doesn’t have to be invested in the child as much as the mother.
    It is time for men and women to stop blaming each other and be parents to these children. Women need to take control and make choices for their own sanity. The burden of child care and contraception will fall on the woman. We live in a world where double standards still apply. Women, if the man has kids from another woman, you might wanna consider how that will affect your pocket if you get married. Why did his last relationship not work? If the man is not involved with his first child or other children, then why do you think that he will be so involved with the ones he has with you?

  19. uh, maybe you shouldn’t be producing children with a woman and family you’re not prepared to commit to. As for the second wift whining about the payments to the ex, please, there’s a least a 50-50 chance you’re the reason she is an ex.

  20. It is really fairly straight forward……It is called a commitment because it is a commitment. Don’t use the church as a cruch, but if your marriage failed, it is because you efforts failed. My wife and I bee married 26 years and we always find a way to make it work and make it matter. Easy – no, Valuable = for sure!

    Grow up and keep your promises through thick or thin,

  21. Being divorced and a Dad, I appreciate much of the commentary posted…it can be, at best, difficult. I was fortunate to have a divorce attorney during a contentious period who reminded me that a divorce is not something the kids asked for; she also said she would do what was best for the kids and I may not like it sometimes. Retaining her was the best decision I made. I quit my overseas job and returned home to assure I kept joint custody of the kids. It was really difficult as my ex- had done some really snarky stuff. Though it all, what I learned was what was important, my kids, and staying focused on the important stuff is what mattered. It’s been more than six years since the divorce and I feel blessed to have my kids and their love. Yes, there are things I don’t think fiscally fair…but the love and respect of my kids in my book are priceless. That is something my ex- didn’t learn…

    • Happy Father’s day. There are some very good fathers out there. Many of us have to rise to the challenge society offers us. So many stereotypes. So many combatting the sterotypes. None of it is fair. But man-up because we love our kids.And these days, if we’re lucky, we we love our wives too.

  22. Not sure why you would think that Leave it to Beaver and Fathers Knows Best is any representation of the 50′s. Total propaganda to get post WWII working women back in the kitchen. That’s like assuming that every person in the late 60′s was doing drugs and living in a love nest with flowers on their head. Far from the facts. TV shows do NOT represent the reality of life. People have had much harder times than the present and worked just as many hours if not more.

    When you start counting the time you spend with your children maybe you need to take the ME out of the picture. Texting, video games, golfing, fun shopping, girls/guys night out, independent activities that you think you NEED but in reality you only WANT. There are plenty of hours left, even after a 60-70 hour work week to have quality time with your family. Don’t want to give up the ME then don’t commit to a relationship or have children. And BTW you can still have some ME time. I prefer WE time with my spouse. Since that is the person I will be spending the rest of my life with.

    Until those that battle with inner demons learn that they may give more than they get, they will be unhappy and assume they don’t spend enough time with their children with every excuse in the world rolling off the tip of their tongue.

    Women have been working for a long long time. This is nothing new. Until you turn the battle of the sexes into understanding the DIFFERENCE between the sexes you will fail. We are not the same.

    Long hours? Both sexes feel this burden. Children? All too soon they have lives of their own and parents are not requred as much as they think they are. Pay attention to their education (not just schooling but life also) and free time activities and you will do them the biggest favor you can. Your are not their best buddy and they are not yours. You are their parent. Your can buddy up when they are all grown up.

    Work opposite hours? Nothing better than one on one with Mom or Dad. 45 qualities minutes is much better than hours in front of the boob tube, video game or computer.

    You don’t have to plan your free time activities. If your life is about your family you will find more peace than you can imagine. You can spend several hours arguing about who cleans, does dishes, yard work and other chores or you can all work together each day. Keep up with the chores and you will have a lot more free time. GET OVER YOURSELF you are no longer the child, there are rewards in giving.

    The only thing that was less complicated 60 years ago was technology.
    You can make every excuse in the world OR you can find a personal solution.
    Your choice.

    JM2cents

    Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad’s.
    Wish mine was still here he was one of the best!!

  23. My pathetic excuse for an ex quit her job at the post office when we were getting divorced so that I ended up paying higher child support. Now, she works under the table and receives food stamps from the government because she doesn’t have to claim child support as income, even though she gets more in child support than most people make. But, it does give her more free time to sit around on the back porch at her friends house (who is also divorced, and living in a house paid for by her Mom, while driving a car paid for by her Mom, and talks on a cell phone also paid for by her Mom because she won’t work either) and spends most evenings drinking. But, we wouldn’t want to mess up the facade of “hard-working single mom” now would we?

    • I believe what you say about your ex….that is sad on so many levels….The life she leads sets the example for your children’s future lives. I work hard, have a good work & moral ethic—and I want my kids to have the same. Parents do lead by example.
      Your ex’s example is a poor one. Her (your) kids are more likely to try to live off of other’s efforts rather than their own. There is not alot of pride in that kind of life.
      One of your challenges as a parent will be to set and live by a different moral code. Give your children someone to look up to, hopefully they will choose your lifestyle and not their mom’s. There are lazy people of both sexes out there….too bad for your kids that they got a lazy mom.

    • @mikeingeorgia To be fair: Not positive how things run in Georgia, but having dealt with Florida and now Idaho (and also having seen how it runs in Washington), child support must be counted as income for any type of government assistance–food stamps included. In fact, it’s practically a full-time job in itself keeping up with the paperwork, because if you want to claim that your child support received has decreased, you can’t just submit a change form–nope, you have to completely reapply (a lengthy and involved process itself). I haven’t found a “change” in circumstances yet for which a “change form” was sufficient.

      What’s more, if you apply for assistance outside the state the child support is coming from, you now have TWO states involved: the state it comes from, and the state you receive assistance in (the child support enforcement department in the state you receive assistance in takes over on your end, so then payments have to go through double processing and take twice as long to come through). This means that if your support increases, the assisting state knows about it immediately and will force you to reapply or lose benefits; conversely, if it decreases, they seem to know nothing about it and force you to supply “proof” they should already have (strange, isn’t it…).

      I know nothing of your ex personally, but everyone should know that, for those of us who earn our money legitimately and still don’t earn enough, “the system” isn’t as easy to “work” as it sounds like from the side of people who haven’t had to deal with it–and even when you legitimately need it and legitimately are trying to make things work on your own, it’s a LOT of work and time wasted. Blessedly we’ve been able to make ends meet without it for awhile–hopefully never going back.

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