Fathers…how much time to you spend with your kids?

I was intrigued by the article in the New York Times this last week, The Triumph of the Working Mother. Though there are parts of the article I would want to know more about and may dispute, what I found most intriguing was the following statement:

“What about the kids? As more wives took jobs between 1965 and 1985, the time mothers spent with children decreased. But since 1985, both mothers and fathers have increased their time with children. Employed moms spend fewer hours per week with their children than stay-at-home mothers, but they spend more time with their children than homemakers did in 1965!

And fathers nearly tripled their amount of time with children.”

My wife and I’s own marital roles have been in a state of constant flux since our marriage in 2005. My wife was the primary breadwinner working in corporate America, while I was working on staff of a church as the college director. Then I switched careers and in the in-between time of ending my ministry job and moving to Texas to start my therapy job, I was a full-time stay at home dad with our then 11 month old daughter. I stayed at home full-time for two and half months. (By the way, that is still the hardest and most demanding job I have ever had).

My wife continued to be the primary breadwinner while I built my new career. And just last year my wife quit her job to stay home full-time with our two kids.

Like I said, our roles have been in constant flux.

But one thing that is important is that we both work hard to share the parenting duties.

And as a therapist who works with many couples and men in therapy, one issue that is most prevalent in relationships is the man’s lack of involvement in the lives of his kids. Whether he is not helping out his spouse enough, or not being physically and emotionally present to be with the kids, it becomes a significant issue.

So as I asked at the top.

Fathers…how much time do you spend with your kids?

And is the role negotiating between you and your spouse in constant flux? Set in stone? Confusing?