A Father’s Perspective: If I Could Do it Over Again
April 1, 2010 · Posted in Fatherhood, Parenting, Work/Family Balance · Permalink

fathers_kids_13Soho Parenting sent a survey to fathers about their hopes, regrets, and role models for fatherhood. Men ages 40-79 replied.  Every response had one thing in common. Each and every father wished they had, or did, work less. They all regretted not spending more time with their children.

A recent piece by Michael Winerip in Generation B in The New York Times echoes this. He reports on men who have small children while in their fifties and sixties. They feel happy to have children late in life, when the pressures of work and their own ambitions are less front and center.

“I was bad about this the first time,” said Mr. Albinus, who has a daughter, 37, and a son, 28, by two different women in his native Denmark. In his 20s he was building a career as a political reporter covering Parliament. “I had to be there long hours,” he said. On days he was supposed to pick up his son from child care, he often couldn’t. He would call his wife, who was also working full time, and they’d argue about how he never did his share. “I’d get to day care late, my son was crying, it was terrible,” Mr. Albinus said. These things leave scars; at one point, the grown son, now a film director in Denmark, stopped speaking to him for a year….“For my little son, I’m always there,” he said. “For my older son, I missed too many birthdays.”

One father in our survey lamented that his own father worked too much.  He set out to be different with his children, but somehow it turned into the same situation.  It is important to remember that even with intention and awareness, it is an uphill climb to really make a change from what you experienced as a child.

This is a heads up for parents to sit together and really talk about their priorities, values and plans. Children need their fathers and fathers need their children. See what changes you can make to insure that father’s time with their children is not optional or marginal. Not everyone gets a second shot.

Bookmark and Share
Buy Our Book, 'A Mother's Circle'
Facebook  RSS

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346