Common Sense Collaboration
"Dads are the ones reporting growing concerns with work-life balance. Most men with a child under the age of one wish they could spend more time with them. And only one in four men now thinks that mothers should be the main carers of children."
This quote from the The Guardian (UK) caught my eye in an article posted this past Sunday called Yes, It's Hard for Working Mums. But Dads Want to Be With Their Children Too. The piece does an excellent job pointing out inequities in the workplace through matter-of-fact statements like: "These dated attitudes towards fathers can't last. Most of the wives (or partners) of fathers with pre-school children are now in work. In the old days employers operated in a 'buy one, get one free' labour market: you employed the man, safe in the knowledge that his wife would be the one doing the night-feeds, running to school to collect sickly children and disappearing from the world of work altogether for a few years."
Then the article follows up with the resulting impact on women: "Mothers were still expected to be the main carer - hence the endurance of phrases such as 'working mother' or 'career woman', which make no apparent sense when applied to men. Small wonder that so many quit."
In conclusion, the author minces no words when proposing the solution: "For women to have more equality at work, we need more equality at home; in this struggle for equality, fathers and feminists are on the same side."
Of course, balanced lives for both parents with equal access to all the joys of adult life is an ideal both genders can embrace. Women may like the label of ESP initially more than men, but I have seen time and again that men get as much, if not more, from this lifestyle.
What could make more sense, and contain more hope, than both genders teaming up to solve this puzzle together?