Working dads' top priority is giving family love

Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:05am EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Many fathers these days want it all -- time with kids, promotions at work and a spouse who shares the parenting duties.

But some say they would trade in their commute and office gig for a stay-at-home role.

With Father's Day just around the corner, a new study surveying nearly 1,000 fathers in the United States working at Fortune 500 firms takes a look at just how hard it is for dads to balance their work and life goals.

The study titled "The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted" was unveiled on Wednesday by the Boston College Center for Work & Family.

Dads have long been celebrated for their role as breadwinner in the family. Now the top priority of men with children under the age of 18 still living at home is the softer side of being a father -- providing love and support.

More than half of all fathers surveyed said they would consider not working outside the home if the family was able to live comfortably on one salary, a surprising change in perception, said Brad Harrington, executive director of the center.

"There's a lot of new thinking," said Harrington.

"But there is also an inability to let go of some of the more traditional roles that fathers have played and pick up some of the responsibilities that mothers have traditionally taken greater ownership for," he said.

For example, the study showed dads did not view day-to-day childcare tasks as a top priority, leaving a spouse to do the car pooling, diaper changes and laundry.   Continued...

<p>Colt Groff, carrying his daughter Peyton Groff (L), and Jason Hill, carrying Trayson Groff, look at the smoke from the Wallow wildfire in Apache County, Arizona June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>