The role of the father has shifted and changed over the years. For many of us, we are raising our kids very differently to how our fathers did when we were growing up. In this series, we take a look at how fatherhood has changed over the years.
In this article, we focus on how dads have changed their working arrangements.
We can all remember our fathers going off to work and coming home late. There may have been little interaction, playtime or conversation in the evenings. There are still many fathers today who do work long hours, but many dads now try to spend time as much time as they can with their children. They want to be more than just the economic provider.
Some dads are now working shorter hours or part-time to spend more time with their family. Since the 1990s, the number of dads using flexible working arrangements has doubled. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), around 30% of dads took advantage of flexible working hours to care for their children who were under 12. The number of dads who worked from home to care for their children rose from 7% to 14%.
There is a perception that stay-at-home dads are on the increase, but this is still fairly rare. The Australian Institute of Family Studies reports that there are around 68,500 families with stay-at-home dads, which represents 4% of two-parent families. For some, staying at home is an economic decision (e.g. looking for work) rather than a lifestyle choice.
Whatever your working arrangement, the ABS reported that 85% of dads with kids under 15 feel rushed and pressed for time. If you’re feeling under pressure, and want to talk to a counsellor, call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.