By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
For todays dads, fatherhood isnt what they expected
Being a dad is a powerful job that many men may picture for years before the baby comes. Theres the sweet baby smiles and throwing the ball in the backyard with older children. - photo by Shelby Slade
Being a dad is an important job that many men picture for years before the baby comes. Theres the sweet baby smiles and throwing the ball in the backyard with older children.

But for millennial men, the dream and the reality don't match up.

While most men between the ages of 18 and 34 support the idea of equally sharing child-care and household responsibilities with their female partners, these notions quickly crumble after they have a child, Sarah Cain Miller reported for the New York Times.

Its not that theyve thrown over their ideals, its just enacting those are much harder given the workplace and cultural structures theyre encountering, Pamela Stone, a sociologist at Hunter College, told Miller.

One of the possible reasons for this shift stems from the career sacrifices many men feel as though they have to make in order to reach this goal, Miller reported.

They say, I didnt realize how much of a ding it would be on my career, Laura Sherbin, Center for Talent Innovation director of research, said. Its what women have been saying for years and years.

This issue encompasses corporate parental leave policies, which often dont give men the same time off they give women.

In the U.S., 12 weeks of unpaid time off is standard, but it is the employers responsibility to work out pay, Julie Zeilinger reported for Mic. Some families cannot afford to sacrifice a week's pay, or more, from both parents to spend time at home.

A survey completed by researchers at Boston College showed that the majority of dads felt parental leave, not just maternity leave, was important, but 96 percent of them received two weeks or less off.

Some argue that the U.S. should move toward a more liberal policy, like Swedens newly updated paid leave policy. Sweden allows 16 months off total, but the mom and dad are both required to take three months each and then split the remaining 10 as they choose, Zeilinger explained.

Previous studies have shown similar shifts in parental roles, or ideal parental roles, once a couple has had their first child, Emily Dugan reported for The Independent.

The study asked men and women to rank the importance of statements describing family dynamics. Before their first child they were more supportive of sharing responsibilities, but the first child changed that.

This doesnt mean that sharing child-care and household duties is impossible for men and women, but rather that it requires greater commitment to make sure it remains feasible, Diane Elson, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Essex, said.

Whether you are male or female, you have to be very confident and persistent against overwhelming odds not to conform amid such powerful messaging.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters