Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Fathers Work Longer Hours Than Childless Men February 1, 2011

According to this recent article from the Institute of Leadership and Management, fathers work longer hours than childless men. It states that:

One in three fathers work more than 48 hours a week compared to just 25% of men without children, according to a report by think-tank Demos.

The article doesn’t offer any explanation for this trend, so I’m tossing out a few theories of my own:

Maybe fathers, with numerous dependents, feel more pressure to do whatever it takes to stay employed. Maybe they have more distractions during the workday so need to work longer hours to get their jobs done. And there’s the other (perhaps cynical) theory that fathers spend more time at work so they have to spend less time at home being fathers.

I’d be very interested to hear your theories on this, too.

What I do find interesting is that I’d be willing to bet these statistics don’t apply to mothers, and that a similar study would show that it’s the childless women that put in the longer hours. If that’s the case, however, I suspect that says less about the parent/childless divide and more about the inequities of shared parenting.

What do you think?


4 Responses to “Fathers Work Longer Hours Than Childless Men”

  1. Gwen Says:

    I work with several men who work long hours to avoid being home and having to actually parent their children. As in they have stated this as their goal. One guy takes PTO and then comes in to hang around the office chatting with people.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    I tend to think along your cynical statement. Not always, of course. But it seems to me that these days there are so many parents who are clueless about parenting that the men often avoid the situation by staying away. Of course, they probably are stressed about money as well. And naturally, if a father is avoiding the home situation, that generally means the woman has to pick up the slack.

    It does seem to me, in my limited observation, that many fathers these days want to play with the kids for a bit, be a kid themselves, and then leave it up to the mother to do the painful work of raising the kid. Well, i think it has been this way for a while. My hubby kind of describes his childhood this way. But i think it is becoming more common. I think everyone loses in this scenario – but again, not going to be my problem.

  3. Colleen Says:

    This was my thought. I wonder if this study is from a certain income bracket. I think if you are in a low income bracket you are probably working two jobs causing the sway in the hours worked to being more. I guess I see that in the people I work with. The higher income men work their 40 hours+ and go. The lower income men work the 40 hours+ and go to another job. I guess I see a lot more men unemployed right now then woman too as the construction industry and manufacturing industry has been hit so hard, so maybe I guess in the end I don’t get that study at all!

    I think you are right about the woman…..

  4. Rach Says:

    The study doesn’t ring true when it comes to the Guv.

    He is the ONLY childless man working in his company, he’s a manager and he works 10 hours a day – he’s the first in and usually the last out. He routinely covers for his 2ic who leaves early or comes in late cause he has to do stuff with his children, everyone else gets concessions when it comes to their family and yet because it is just us two, he doesn’t.

    To say it pisses me off is an understatement.


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