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Dads willing to pay for time with kids

  • Story Highlights
  • Many working fathers say they would trade pay for time at home, survey says
  • Dads also say work negatively affects their relationship with their children
  • Having a calendar for the entire household may help with scheduling problems
  • Dad can invite his family to work to see the workplace and meet co-workers
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By Richard Castellini
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It's been a long time since men were considered the lone breadwinners of their families and women were deemed stay-at-home moms. These days, "stay-at-home dad" is a turn of phrase heard as often as its female counterpart is -- and if dads had anything to say about it, it would be heard a lot more.

Many working fathers say they would be willing to trade work for family time if they could pull it off financially.

Many working dads would be willing to trade work for family time if it were financially possible, according to's annual "Working Dads" survey.

Thirty-seven percent say they would take a pay cut if it meant spending more time at home.

Of those fathers, 42 percent say they would take a pay cut of 10 percent or more. Of dads who live in households with more than one income, 37 percent would leave their job if their family could live off their spouse or significant other's income.

All work, no play ... at least not with the kids.

It's difficult for any working parent to balance time between the office and family. When parents miss even the occasional dinner, school play, dance recital or baseball game, kids are bound to get upset. Twenty-two percent of working dads say work is negatively affecting their relationship with their children.

Forty-seven percent of fathers admit to spending fewer than three hours per day with their kids during the workweek, while 22 percent said they spend fewer than two hours and 6 percent can only spend one hour. More than one-fourth (26 percent) of dads surveyed have missed three or more significant events in their children's lives because of work. Learn more about Father's Day »

Here are some steps you take outside of the office to better balance your work and family life:

1. Stay in touch

Checking in periodically with the family will keep you up-to-date on the goings on at home and school. In some cases, calling home may allow you to adjust your schedule to attend last minute events.

2. Work from one household calendar

Consider putting up one calendar in the house that everyone can access and update. Baseball games, recitals and other activities should be included with business trips and longer company meetings. This will allow the whole family to be organized and reduce the amount of scheduling confusion.

3. Pull out your work only after the sun has gone down

On the nights that you bring work home, limit the amount of email checking or even working until the children have gone to sleep. When you are at home, your focus should be on your children.

4. Schedule time

A great way to make sure you and your children spend quality time together is to schedule activities with them each week. These don't have to be eight-hour events, but more along the lines of a bike ride, a trip to the playground, or even just to play a game.

5. Invite your family to your office

Look at your schedule and block off some time for your family to stop by and see where you work and meet your co-workers. Some organizations even schedule kid-friendly potlucks with other co-workers and their families.


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