Millennial fathers strive to achieve a work-life balance |

Jobs for Mums - Katja Dingli Bennetti July 12, 2017

Millennial fathers strive to achieve a work-life balance. Sounds familiar?

We've got news for you and you're going to love it. The latest report by 2017 Modern Families Index – the largest survey of its kind, published by Bright Horizons, confirms that millennial men are starting to understand what working mums have been fighting for, for decades. 'About time' you might be saying to yourself, well, we get your frustration, however isn't it fantastic that we're finally all going to be on the same page, working torwards the same goals?

Here's how the story goes (according to us)

Once upon a time men worked and most women stayed home to take care of the family. When women started to enter the working world oh that's when s*** hit the fan. Females strived to achieve this so called ‘work-life balance’ the media convinced them existed and the career woman within them wanted it. Reaching the perfect balance between being a super mum and a career high flier became a working mum's prime aspiration and instead of trying to involve their partner, females worked hard to multiply the amount of hours in a day because they still felt that the primary care of the children and home still belonged to them. In the meanwhile, inflexible employers didn't cooperate, living costs continue to rise and society started to expect women to snap their fingers and magically juggle both. Deep down in their heart of hearts women believed that anything related to home and family was their primary task and that they had to contribute to the financials and find a way how to cope with two full-time jobs; maximize their time and still faithfully put together a home cooked meal and plaster a dazzling smile every night. Sad but ever so true.
The ‘motherhood penalty’ was born and working mums sacrificed full time careers, reverted for part-time jobs while a couple of rebel mums on a mission to be treated as individuals before being looked at as Mums, started to tirelessly fight for flexibility. If you look at the way the workplace has changed, you'll quickly see that it’s all been done by women.

Here’s where the saga stops.

Fast forward to today and an astonishing amount of fathers are finding out what their partners knew for ages - basically that you can't always have it all. In just a few decades, fathers' started to get more involved in their children's lives and studies show that the average man's input rose from just 15minutes a day (in the mid 1970s) to three hours each weekday, (by the end of the 90s).

The recently published 2017 Modern Families Index – continues by stating that “More than half of millennial fathers want to shift to a less stressful job because they find it difficult to balance work and family life'

Brace yourself. Super news coming your way.

Millennial fathers have different priorities from previous generations. The chances that they drop their kids off at nursery are higher and they actually want to be involved in their children's upbringing. More have aspirations of what fatherhood should be like and they are ready to roll up their sleeves, support their life partner and do their share. In fact, many working dads interviewed for the survey said that their workplace did not support aspirations for a better work-life balance. Nearly a fifth said their employer was, at best, unsympathetic about their childcare issues. Almost half of them said they had lied or bent the truth to their employer about family related responsibilities.

So what's next?

While the local government’s solution has been to provide free childcare for working parents, launch an after-school programme and put issues such as parental and sick leave debates in the spotlight, the private sector is understanding the importance of supporting their staff and are embracing flexi-time because they realise that the world is going through a massive shift and the brightest teams need to be happy, healthy, rested and fulfilled to perform at their highest potential.
While more females are securing top spots in management positions, millennial men in top positions are valuing fatherhood and striving to reach the same work-life balance women want. Hopefully this new way of thinking will quickly turn into the basic way of how women and men are treated in the 21st century workplace. One thing is for sure, there is hope. 

What's your take on all this? Drop us a line. Tell us what you think. We can’t wait to hear from you.