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Study: Working Dads Want More Time With Kids

New moms often struggle when choosing between working at home and returning to the office. As passionate as women are about their careers, leaving behind their little ones can be difficult and heart-rending. However, a new study has found that women aren’t the only ones who grapple with this choice. Dads can also struggle with being away from home and missing out on quality time with the kids.

The study was based on findings from a new Pew Research survey. Over 2,500 adults were surveyed regarding their feelings on work, home life, and child-rearing. According to their findings, dads were just as likely as moms to say that they wished they could work at home with the kids instead of going into the office. Additionally, 49 percent of men said they didn’t get enough time with their kids, and 34 percent of dads said they felt like they were always in a rush.

The study did illustrate some positive new changes. Compared to previous findings published by the Pew Research Center in 1965, today’s dads are much more likely to perform household duties such as cleaning, and they are also more likely to play an active role in childcare.

Clearly, dads crave more quality time and more hands-on involvement with their children. Today’s modern family is much more fair and balanced, with moms and dads both having more freedom and encouragement to pursue their goals, whether it is staying at home with the kids or succeeding in the business world.

However, even with this freedom, the fact is that many parents still struggle to find a balance in their work/home life. Here are some tips to help you streamline your schedule and find more quality time with your loved ones:

  • Shut off your smartphone during dinner. Many Americans bring their work home with them, meaning that even when they are “off the clock,” they are still writing emails to their clients or researching information for the next day’s meeting. While working nonstop might seem like a surefire way to get a promotion, it can actually backfire because you will never be able to rest and recharge. Not to mention, you will never get to spend time with your loved ones. Do yourself and your family a favor by shutting off your smartphone during dinner or for at least an hour each night.
  • Make the most of your quality time. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying television and video games as a family, but if you have just a limited amount of time to spend with your kids each night, then it might be a good idea to keep that time technology-free. Doing so will help you to stay present and it will help you to connect with your kids in a lasting and meaningful way. Read them a book, play dolls, do a puzzle, or challenge them to a board game. You might be surprised at how much more open and engaged they are when the T.V. is off.
  • Take pride in your abilities. Sadly, many people still think that men aren’t naturals when it comes to nurturing and parenting. Television shows and movies often depict men as bumbling and inadequate when it comes to cooking, cleaning, or taking care of the kids. This is an unfair and bigoted depiction. The reality is men make stellar parents, especially when they are confident in their abilities and they are given room to step up and parent without criticism or judgment. No one is perfect, but your kids want and need you to play an active role in their lives, so don’t think that you have to sit back and let Mom do it all. You have so much to contribute to your kids, and if you let your love and compassion guide you, you can’t go wrong.

While many working parents feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, you can still find small ways to carve out quality time with your kids. Sometimes that means putting off the laundry for another day or sometimes that means missing a meeting because your kid is sick, but at the end of the day, if you stay present and dedicated, you can find time for the things that really matter.

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