The struggle to juggle family life and work is a challenge now shared by dads, a new study has found.
Fathers today are less strict, more caring and more hands-on than their own fathers, but battle to combine raising children and being the breadwinner.
A survey of more than 900 Australian fathers shows 78 per cent think they are doing a good job as a dad.
However, 62 per cent say they want to be more involved but find it difficult because of their work hours.
The research, commissioned by Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand, identifies three categories of fathers:
PROVIDER Dads, who “mind the kids” when mum’s not around;
SUPER Substitute Dads, who are eager caregivers when they’re not working; and
FULLTIME Carer Dads, who are the primary carers.
The report, titled “Wait Until Your Father Gets Home”, shows how the role of fathers is shifting from disciplinarian to carer.
“The phrase ‘wait until your father gets home’ is now perceived more as a reward than a threat,” said Kirsty Bloore, research director from Nickelodeon’s parent company, Viacom.
“Dads today are proudly more engaged and emotionally connected with their kids.
“They have had to adapt to the pressures and challenges of being a parent in today’s world, and are becoming much more understanding and capable of juggling the demands of raising children.”
One hands-on dad is Justin Jeffery, 37, a security guard from Box Hill who is the father of Olivia, 2.
“I always race home from work so I don’t miss bath time,” he told the Herald Sun.
“I do what I can to be there with her as much as I can.”
Mr Jeffery is also showing his caring side by raising money to help other families care for their sick children.
In April 2017, he is running a 100km marathon from Port Melbourne to the Portsea Pub to raise money for Eli’s Gift Foundation.
Even then, he still puts Olivia first. “I get up at 4am to train when Ollie is asleep and, when I get home, it’s all about her,” he said.
Mr. Jeffery can be supported at gofundme.com at Justin — Port to Port.
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