How do working fathers and mothers feel about and experience their domestic and professional responsibilities? New data from the Pew Research Center finds that men are getting more stressed out about their growing roles at home.
For the study, researchers surveyed more than 2,500 adults nationwide, and analyzed the American Time Use Survey, which measures the amount of time people spend daily doing various activities.
The American parents surveyed were living in different settings; they were single, married, working full time and part time. Pew researchers found that fathers have significantly increased the amount of time they spend on domestic responsibilities in recent decades. With those new responsibilities come new emotional burdens for many fathers, according to the findings.
About half of working dads said it was difficult to balance their lives while about 56 percent of working mothers said the same.
And — there’s dad guilt. Researcher Kim Parker says one of the questions was whether parents think they spend too little, too much, or just the right amount of time with their kids.
“Dads were much more likely than moms to say that they spent too little time with their children. In fact, 46 percent of fathers said they spent too little time with their children, compared to only 23 percent of mothers,” explained Parker.
The study also found that working fathers are just as likely as working mothers to say that they would prefer to stay home with their kids — if they didn’t need their income.
“It was about 50 percent in each group,” said Parker. “That was surprising. The question hadn’t been asked of fathers in the past, so we don’t know if that’s a new attitude, or just one that we haven’t tapped into before.”
Roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under age 18 have two working parents.