Happy Fathers Day! Alongside the fun filled laughter and delights with the family, today marks a day to also think about what today’s fathers really want. You know the saying ‘a dog isn’t just for Christmas,’ well, there’s a similar mindset needed when we look at our recent survey with the Working Families charity.
Over 300 fathers took part in our survey where we found that:
- More than a third of fathers (36%) say their current working arrangements don’t support them to fulfil childcare responsibilities.
- Four out of ten fathers (40%) want to play a more active role in the upbringing of their children.
- One in five fathers (18%) want to share childcare responsibilities more equally with their partner.
Let’s start a different conversation
“The last Government rejected a call to create a properly paid period of independent leave for fathers on cost grounds. But failing to enable the UK’s 11 million working parents to reach their potential is a false economy we can ill afford. The UK is risking a ‘fatherhood penalty’, with many fathers ready to downshift or compromise their careers.”
Those were the words of Sarah Jackson, CEO of Working Families, who also believes the new Government should prioritise revisiting this issue. Properly paid leave that makes time away from work to spend with new children a realistic option for more fathers. This would be a game-changer in tackling entrenched ideas about who works and who cares.
In their own words
We were delighted to speak to a few fathers and dad bloggers on their opinion on what they want more of, and why that’s so different to their own father’s generation. Some of the insights in the video above were very revealing indeed!
Matt, a father who participated in the survey, also said:
“I am a full time stay at home father to my daughter. I have been lucky in that the network of mums my wife had during her maternity leave have been very accepting of me becoming a full time parent. However there is a lack of role models for men who chose to stay at home and some of my friends would like to take parental leave but cannot afford to because their employer is not supportive financially. I still feel like a bit of an oddity when out and about with my daughter.”
As much as this is a government issue, we as dads also have a responsibility to start having the type of honest and brave conversations with our employers about it too.
Change is coming dads, and you’re right at the forefront of it.