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?