Self-Help for Working Dads.

CNN and recently published the results of their Mother’s Day survey, titled “What working moms miss and wish for.” The data was interesting although not terribly surprising. Most working moms want more time with our kids. We’d trade good money for it. Over 50% of moms in dual-career households would stay home if we could afford to financially. This is news? The findings were followed by a helpful and simultaneously completely condescending tip sheet on “How to Make it Work.” Here are the five tips for working moms:


1. Incorporate telecommuting into your workday.
2. Use one calendar for all appointments.
3. Make your family a priority.
4. Take it easy.
5. Let others do their share.


A fine list. But what I found most interesting is imagining why, as we lead up to Father’s Day, our husbands don’t get these surveys and little tip sheets about “What Working Dads Miss and Wish For.” Probably for pretty much the same reason self-help magazines abound for women and for men not so much. In other words, because in our culture women need fixing and men don’t. What I wish for, just once, is radio silence on how we moms need to do it all better, faster, more efficiently. What does it say about societal pressure on moms that we don’t have a tip sheet for the working daddies? So just in time for Father’s Day on June 15, let’s create our own tip sheet, so that dads can be better fathers, husbands and partners. For those of us who’ve not partnered up, your insights may be even more, um, insightful, given your objectivity. So please weigh in! Here’s the same “Making It Work” list – for dads. I left in the condescending stuff from the original CNN/CareerBuilder tip sheet for working moms, so please don’t blame me for how snarky this sounds. Amazing how accepting we can be of condescending advice for women, and how instantly insulting it sounds simply by switching the gender.


How to Make Working Fatherhood Work:


Although raising children while holding a job outside of the home will always be a challenge, here are some steps you can take ease the pressure of being a working dad and loving, supportive husband.


1. Incorporate telecommuting into your workday. Many companies hypothetically allow their employees to work from home one or more days per week, which is an easy way for you to spend more time at home in the morning and afternoon with your children rather than in standstill traffic. Give it a try – maybe if more men telecommute, companies will take the option seriously and not penalize women who telecommute by accusing them of lacking ambition and commitment to their careers.



Check out this weekend's New York Times Magazine cover story on the "Third Path," (or something to that effect), on couples that are truly trying to raise children, while managing work and househould, in an egalitarian way. Interesting story. It it was the headline for the Fathers' Day issue. Bold statement.

leslie morgan s...

Leslie Morgan Steiner

Yep, the division is pretty unfair and even the most lovely, wonderful husbands seem fairly oblivious. There are a few exceptions, of course ...but not in my house! Data shows that men are doing a lot more, on average, in terms of household chores and childcare. But it is still a fraction of the stuff moms do, even when we work fulltime.


I love that you are actually and openly willing to say how unfair the division of labor really is. Some days it seems as though everyone around me has bought some line that women nowadays have it all and are just wining if we try to negotiate for a more even distribution of the home labor. I'm very sick of it.