Evolution of Fatherhood
June 13, 2017
Part of being a mindful father is striking the right balance between family and professional life. In the past, a father’s identity was based more on factors outside of the home than within it. But over the decades, the perimeters of fatherhood have changed. Dads are typically taking on more household and parenting responsibilities than ever before. And as time progresses, it’s likely to evolve even more.
The Progression of Fatherhood
Data from the Pew Research Center shows that while mothers remain the primary childcare providers and household workers, fathers are getting more involved. In 1965, fathers spent just four hours a week on housework and two and a half hours on childcare. Today, dads spend about ten hours a week on housework and seven hours a week on childcare.
While progress has been made, many fathers still feel like they’re falling short. Fifty percent of fathers say that they have difficulty balancing their family and work responsibilities. And 46 percent of fathers say they spend too little time with their kids.
The Future of Fatherhood
Long gone are the days where fathers based their identity primarily on their status in society or rank at work. Today, fathers see their defining characteristic as far more personal. In fact, 57 percent of fathers say that being a dad is extremely important to their overall identity.
Many fathers are also striving to be more hands-on with their children’s upbringing. One recent study found that today 16 percent of stay-at-home parents are fathers—that’s roughly two million fathers. While this is a small fraction of American fathers, the number is growing. In 1989, only 10 percent of parents were stay-at-home fathers. And on top of that 48 percent of fathers in the Pew Research study said that they would prefer to be home with their children, but have to work because their family needs an income.
While the hustle and bustle of everyday life will probably never go away, the number of helpful tools and advice for both mothers and fathers are constantly growing and making things easier for parents. Childhood is such a formative and short part of a person’s life—taking a more mindful approach to life will keep fathers from missing out.
Bonus. Want to learn more about the rise of stay-at-home dads? Check out this article.