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January 18 2018

A Reminder That Men Can’t "Have It All," Either

by Rachel DiCarlo Currie

According to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. parents with children under 18, some 47 percent of mothers feel they spend either too little time with their children (35 percent) or too much time (12 percent).

More evidence that women “can’t have it all”? Perhaps. But guess what? The survey also found that 63 percent of fathers believe they spend too little time with their children — a reminder that men can’t have it all, either.

Conducted in August and September, the Pew survey tells us a lot about parenting, work-life balance, and the harsh reality of family breakdown.

“For both dads and moms who say they spend too little time with their kids, work obligations are cited most often as the main reason: 62% of dads and 54% of moms say this is the case,” writes Pew researcher Gretchen Livingston. “However, a sizable share of fathers (20%) say the main reason they spend too little time with their children is that they don’t live with them full-time.”

Based on data from the National Survey of Family Growth, Pew estimates that nearly a quarter of U.S. fathers with children under 18 are living apart from some of their kids (7 percent) or all of their kids (17 percent).

“Education is strongly linked to the likelihood that a dad will be living apart from his children,” notes Livingston. “Fathers who lack a four-year college degree are especially likely to be living apart from their kids: 28% in this group are, compared with just 8% of fathers with a bachelor’s degree or more education.”

Needless to say, these differences in family structure have exacerbated inequality.

To read the entire Pew survey and report, go here.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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