It’s always been seen that stay at home mums have more stress than their partners, looking after the children having a full-time or part-time job as well as running the home.
But a new study claims men are just as concerned about their work-life balance as much as their partners are.
Studying more than 250,000 people, US psychologists found that the majority of working fathers are plagued by stress, but they are too frightened to talk about it for fear of appearing less ‘masculine’.
So why do we accept this outdated notion that being a father doesn’t stop men from worrying about their work-life balance?
It’s taken time, but new research has now pointed out the dangers of gender stereotypes that are preventing men to seek and ask for help relating to high levels of stress at work.
We all suffer from stress both men and women, buts it’s how men deal with stress that is the difference between the sexes.
Professor Kristen Shockley, a psychologist at the University of Georgia, admitted she was surprised by the results.
She said: ‘We essentially found very little evidence of differences between women and men as far as the level of work-family conflict they report.
‘This is quite contrary to the common public perception. The way this issue is presented in the media frames the way we think about it, and it creates a perpetual cycle.
In 1998 Stanford University study accurately predicted that by 2020 advances in technology will have eliminated many lower to mid-level jobs. These advances will have also significantly increased the workload of more senior managers, keeping them working around the clock which will continue this perpetual cycle further based on fear and uncertainty for long-term job security.
Simple Idea to Test Whether You Be Rather At Home or Work:
On a blank sheet of paper, draw a picture of yourself in the middle of the page. (Stickman will do, don’t stress over it.) Next, draw a line down the middle (effectively you split yourself in half). On one side write ‘home’ at the top of the page, and on the other side write ‘work’. Now list all the things you really like about home/work under each heading. Finally, list all the things you don’t like about home/work.
Which list stands out: Do you work to live, or live to work?
- Do you prefer being at work more than at home?
- Is there anything you could do to improve home-life or are you prepared to accept things as they are?
- What are the issues at home? Talk to your wife/partner or a friend & discuss what could be changed along with what has to be accepted.
- Do you prefer being at home more than at work?
- Is it time to look for a new job/change in career?
- Are you able to put up with a ‘less-than-perfect’ job when balanced with a great home life?
Being a Father Doesn’t Stop Men From Worrying About Their Work-Life Balance.
But men are less likely than women to ask for help or flexibility.
It’s always been seen that the role of a man is to be the main wage earner and the role of women has been to support him at home.
But times have changed it’s now common for both mum and dad to hold down demanding roles, but the responsibility of running the home and looking after the children at home still falls to a large degree on the mum, but being a father doesn’t stop men from worrying about their work-life balance.
Even though the number of stay-at-home fathers has almost doubled since the mid-1990s, it’s still the case that women are far more likely to take the lion’s share of parental responsibilities.
It’s clear from research that men need to be a bigger part of the work-life balance conversation and that we could all benefit from more communication about a variety of career issues, from the way we promote our work to how much we think we’re worth and the hours that both men and women work that have such impact on quality time at home.
Work-Life Balance is Very Personal No Two Men Will Have the Same Values.
Every job is different, you may work a shift pattern that keeps you away from home or nights and weekends, you could be required to travel a lot within your job, remember that everyone’s job is different and each role has different stresses.
Also, you have to consider your role in the company, position in the company, the industry you are in, your family situation, your hobbies and interests and everything else that makes you unique.
Consider two people in the same company doing the same job. One is married with children, while the other one is single, a very common situation in a lot of companies.
Part of the role is that you will travel on a regular basis to different countries. For the single guy this great news, having no family commitments he has the chance to see the world while working at no cost to himself. For him, work-life balance is not a major issue.
On the other hand for the family man, will be excited at first at the prospect of expanding his horizons. Two months into the travelling, he will begin feeling conflicted because in as much as he enjoys the trips, he misses his kids’ important milestones and he is not able to be with his family as much as he would want to.
He will begin questioning his work-life balance and he might even have second thoughts about his job.
Millennial fathers have different expectations From Previous Generations.
They are more likely to be dropping their children off at nursery than millennial mothers. These younger fathers have aspirations of what fatherhood looks like. For them, there is equality at home, and both they and their partners work.”
James Willshire, 37, is a typical example. A married father of two works in the finance department at Royal Holloway, University of London, and counts himself lucky: his employer offers an onsite nursery. But he and his wife need their joint income to make things work. “It’s not an option for my wife not to work,” said Willshire. “For me, it would be lovely to have a part-time job but I’d be concerned about how I was going to pay the mortgage.”
Willshire has thought of cutting his hours but, living in an expensive part of the country, it’s an unrealistic prospect. “The high cost of housing around here drives most other things,” he says. “If you want to own your home and pay a mortgage, you’ve got to be at work.”
And that’s the dilemma, we want the trapping of success, a nice house, two cars, regular holidays, eating out buying clothes etc. But there is a price to pay for this new equality. With more and more couples working full-time, there is a real issue of burnout. They have lack of time with each other, and with their kids which feeds the fire of stress and anxiety.