Dads like me
Just finished reading this great article
about Gen X Fathers (Dads my age) from last Sunday's Boston Globe magazine. It's one of those articles that strikes me as great mostly because I can identify so strongly with it and get something back from it, not necessarily becasue of the content. I'm a sole breadwinner, a Dad of two small ones in my late 30s, with a college-educated wife and a sizable mortgage, so I fall smack into the middle of the demographic they are describing. I also have made it a priority to be home by 6 every night for my kids (I've done the 60/70-hour weeks for startups before, not anymore). Time management has become a crucial part of my life, it's a struggle every day.
Some quotes that really struck a chord with me: "...these men are far more cynical than previous generations about the rewards of the work world, even as they typically clock 45-hour-plus workweeks. They have seen lifetime company employment vanish and the dot-com bubble burst. And these men also grew up as the nation's divorce rate nearly doubled, prompting them to pause longer and perhaps think harder than any earlier generation before marrying and having children...They were the first generation in which half of all men and women attended one or more years of college. They dated women who weren't racing to trade their diplomas for diapers. Men and women entered marriage with years of earning power behind them and an established pattern of equal partnership. Today's fathers, says Brad Harrington, head of the Boston College Center for Work & Family, approach family life wanting and expecting to be more involved in day-to-day life. And they are discovering what many of their wives could have told them from across the dining room table: This juggling act is hard work."
- and -
"...many men wanted to spend more time at home but could not because of job or logistical constraints. He found men were frustrated by the difficulty of putting together the 'package deal' a good job, a wife, children, and home ownership. And a chief frustration was that today's economy forces so many working fathers to buy homes far from their workplaces, imposing long commutes. Many of these men wanted more time with their children, but traveling between work and home cut into those hours. 'The time to be emotionally close to their children just isn't there'."
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