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Balancing Work and Family: A Challenge for Women AND Men
by Dr. Dale V. Atkins, July 2007

Now, more than ever, men are involved in the day to day lives of their families. They make choices to spend more time at home or to stay home entirely, actively participating in and contributing to child care and housework. Their desire to be a part of the family instead of apart from the family factors into more and more men's considerations regarding career and job opportunities, expectations and financial rewards and benefits as well as their overall life satisfaction.

We are in a transition time. We are not yet where we need to be so that men and women can benefit from the support and empathy they can offer each other as they both share in the creation of their family lives. Many companies do not appear to appreciative the value of having workers who are balanced in their home/work lives and have yet to send a message that someone whose family life is in good shape is a much better worker. The women's movement of the 1960s encouraged women to pursue their desires, enter the work force, design and forge careers and roles began to change. There was more shared parenting. There was, however, not a comparable men's movement to articulate the desires of men in the same way.

Whatever prompts the wake up call, men are discovering the undeniable satisfaction and joy when they become more fully involved and more fully committed to their families. Not every man is going to become a stay at home dad but more and more men are deciding not to accept after work assignments or are choosing work where they will have the opportunities to spend time with their families. They, their partners and their children benefit from this shift.

What may have worked for previous generations may no longer apply.

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