Modern Dads

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Friday, June 17, 2011 - 8:17am

More fathers are realizing their most important job is at home.

The days when dad brought home the bacon and mom stayed in the kitchen to cook it are far behind us.

Today's fathers are shifting their priorities from big promotions and bonuses to carpool duty and bath time.

A new Boston College survey of 1,000 working dads finds being the breadwinner takes a back-seat to providing love and support to children and being present in their lives.

Joe Utsler is a software executive who made it a priority to find a job that allows him to work from home.

"It's really just about being the best dad you can be, and hanging at the house gives you the opportunity to do more things," Utsler says.

The survey found more than half of working fathers would consider staying home if their spouse's salary could support the whole family.

Still, the vast majority of stay-at-home parents are women, and the survey showed more than half of men want to work toward senior management positions.

Chris Holmgren is a banker who works 60 hours a week.

"It's a hard balance, you have your responsibilities in both places and ultimately sometimes you don't please one or the other, and that's the challenge," he says.

The Boston College researchers say dads who want a bigger role in their kids' lives should start from day one.

They found 96 percent of men took less than two weeks off work when their kids were born.

Not spending time at home with a new baby makes the mother the primary caretaker, a role that is difficult to change.
 

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