Today Show: 43 Percent Of Men Have Daddy Guilt
The all-American family used to consist of the mother staying at home with the children while the breadwinner of the family, the father, headed off to work. Everything seemed to be balanced and everyone seemed to be happy. But with more and more mothers heading into the workplace, more and more fathers have been left at home with children. The traditional gender roles in America have started to switch and they are affecting how men feel.
A new Pew Research study looked at the gender roles in homes across America and found that more fathers were helping with the children and the household chores than in previous years. They also found that many fathers, around 50 percent, say they are having trouble finding the right mix between work and home. And an even more astounding fact the study found was that 23 percent of mothers say they don’t spend enough time with their children while 43 percent of fathers said they don’t spend enough time with their children and they want to spend more time with them.
The Pew Research study researchers said the reason we usually don’t hear fathers complaining of daddy guilt is because they are hardly asked that question.
Today Show: Real Fathers Weigh In On Daddy Guilt
To give fathers a chance to speak on the issue, the Today Show invited the author of Scream Free Parenting, Hal Runkel, the author of Go the F To Sleep, Adam Mansbach, and father of three, Chris Thomas, on the show to talk about their own views of daddy guilt.
Hal Runkle said daddy guilt has been around for a long time but it was only seen as being had by women. Mansbach elaborated on what Runkle said, saying fathers are never seen as the primary caretaker. He said he is given congratulations from people on the street if he is able to put the same socks on his child before they leave the house. He said fathers are consistently fighting off the images the media has used to portray a father, usually making them seem incompetent, while they make the mothers seem as if they know how to do everything perfectly.
But does that add up to daddy guilt? Can just being seen as incompetent because of how fathers are portrayed in the media make someone feel daddy guilt?
Today Show: What Causes Daddy Guilt?
Thomas said when it comes down to feeling daddy guilt, there is no reason to tell your children. He said you should just work harder and strive to be a better father.
Runkel agreed and shared a story about his young daughter. He said he was on business and missed one of her recitals and he told her he was sorry he missed it and he wished he could have made it. But she told him he didn’t wish he was there, he could have been there if he wanted. After thinking about it, Runkel said he agreed with his daughter. It is always his choice if he wants to go to work in morning.
Matt Lauer disagreed saying sometimes you don’t have a choice and you have to go to work. He did point out that it takes very little time to be with your children and really make them feel like you are always there. Mansbach agreed with Lauer saying when he is home, he makes the most of his time with his daughter. It is all about connecting with her whenever they are together. The bottom line, Runkel said, is everyone on the set is an adult and they have to make decisions and live with them.