Equally Shared Parenting - Half the Work ... All the Fun

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Here's where we keep you updated on news about parenting as it relates to division of responsibilities, career versus home decisions, work/life balance, and legislative and grass-roots movements toward equality or better choices for families. We'll also throw in our opinions of life as equal parents in a nonequal world, regardless of what's in the news.

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Equality Blog

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dads Trump Moms on Balance Worries

A new poll by the Rockefeller Family Fund asks parents how much they worry about work/life balance - it's being discussed here and here. Turns out this ranks up there with the economic crisis as a topic keeping us up at night. And the most surprising news is that more fathers worry about balancing work and family than mothers do. That's right! The poll press release says, "Daily worries about work and family responsibilities proved to be frequent for 72 percent of working fathers and 67 percent of working mothers with children under 18." Lisa Guide, Associate Director of the Fund, analyzes this result by saying, "This poll clearly shows that work and family balance is not just a concern for American working women, but one of the biggest daily problems for America's working families in general."

Not that I want my gender to win the war on worrying or anything. But I like that this is a piece of evidence that women don't own this department either. Think about it.... We're used to thinking that working women live their days torn between work and home, while men blithely come and go without regrets. Women get to sob about their plight, and they get to belittle or nag their husbands about not doing enough at home. These data kind of turn that whole cultural argument on its tail.

I realize that women's rate of work/life worry is probably lower in this survey because many more women than men work part-time. This would lower women's scores. But the important thing is that men's worry is so high.

Now...hmmm...what to do about it? ESP.


Blogger aztec-rose said...

Interesting Marc. In some ways it's good to know dads are worrying because many jobs are demanding too many hours from them. They need to be more demanding of their workplace to insist on better conditions, ie: more family friendly.

I don't know if mothers are worrying less because they work part time. Research I'm doing at the moment suggests part time work for moms is not necessarily creating balance, but freeing them up to do more unpaid work, and dad's more breadwinning. However, I agree ESP is definitely the answer to these worry issues. Great post!

7:31 AM  
Blogger Marc said...


I suspect your research will shed some light on the dynamic between equality and balance. Equality without balance will create a set of stresses. Balance, attempted by one partner, creates a whole different set of stresses.

Keep up the good work!

8:41 PM  

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