By Brian Braiker
Is it possible to have it all? Can you have that killer career, and a happy, fulfilled family life? Are you exhausted from pressure-cooker days: coming home from a full-time job to housework and kids who need more of your time?
Sit down, mom. These questions are for dad.
As the roles of moms and dads continue to converge, fathers with young children are now about as likely as mothers to say they feel stretched thin and have difficulty balancing the demands of work and home. These findings are part of a major new report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
The way mothers and fathers spend their time has changed dramatically in the past half century. While not on the face of it shocking news, even as fathers' time with children has tripled since 1965, they still feel like they're not doing as good a job as Dad as they'd like.
Nearly half of all fathers (46 percent) feel like they don't spend enough time with their kids, compared with 23 percent of mothers. And indeed, they still spend only about half as much time with their children, on average, as do mothers.
"In a weird way, this is good news," Vinent DiCaro of the National Fatherhood Initiative tells Parenting.com. "Today's involved dads are setting such high standards for themselves that even though, by all measures, they are more involved than the last generation's dads, they still want to do more."
The current crop of fathers with kids under 18 feels closer to their children, according to the Pew data, and as a result are more conflicted about the amount of time spent away from them, concludes Kim Parker, associate director with the Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends Project.
"Now," says DiCaro, "it's a question of making work-family balance not just a moms' issue but a dad issue, too."
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