Fatherhood is changing, and not just in Sweden. I can’t find it, but I was reading a research paper online that noted that in all “post-industrial” societies, dads were getting more involved. It makes sense. If men and women do the same jobs, they should do the same things at home.
Millennial fathers—those under 29—spend an average of 4.3 hours per workday with their kids, which is almost double that of their counterparts in 1977. A Families and Work Institute report found that these young dads are actually now spending more time each day with children under 13 than mothers between the ages of 29 and 42 are with their own. Which is staggering.
Of course, there is a long way to go. Even in Sweden inequality reigns, especially after the kids start daycare. Only 51 percent of Swedish women with kids under 7 work full time. 92 percent of dads do. (In Sweden, you have the legal right to go down to 75 percent if you have kids under 7)
Ouch. Makes me proud to have been in the 8 percent.
But, still, widespread paternity leave helps, for apparently American men are now more conflicted than women over the work-life balance. Maybe because it is a new problem? More from Newsweek:
Unfortunately, sharing the load can mean sharing the misery, too. Astonishingly, married men are now feeling more torn over balancing work and family than their wives are. Joan Williams, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings, found that in 2008, 59 percent of employed fathers in dual-earner families said they suffered work-family conflict, up from 35 percent in 1977.
The number of women in two-income families who reported feeling conflicted increased by 5 percent over the same period, to 45 percent. (Williams says women who feel conflicted change their schedules, despite damage to their careers; men try to avoid this, and hence feel worse.) Men who stay home are in the minority, but overall, Williams says, “norms have shifted. Taking care of a child is now part of what it means to be a father.”