The importance of a father in a child’s life isn’t questioned. But the reality of being there for kids while holding down 40-hour-plus jobs is a problem. A “Fathers, Family and Work” report from the United Kingdom found that fathers actually want to spend more time with their kids—if only their jobs would let them.
More than 50 percent of working male respondents said they weren’t devoting enough time to their kids. More than 60 percent thought fathers, in general, should spend more time caring for their kids.
Some of the disparities were along gender lines. Forty-six percent of fathers thought they spend the right amount of time with kids, compared to 61 percent of moms.
Recognizing a painful choice working mothers have been making for a long time, two out of five working dads surveyed in the study said they were afraid to ask for more flexible working arrangements in order to spend more time with family. They were also worried that asking would harm their chances for promotion. This is in a country that offers two weeks’ paid paternity leave, but 45 percent of men report they didn’t take advantage of the full two weeks.
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