Work-Life Balance: No Longer Only a Mother's Concern

Discover why more fathers are struggling to square their desire to be present fathers and successful professionals.


| October 2017



father-son

Modern dads are waking up to the joy and sense of fulfillment that can live at home.

Photo by Getty Images/Halfpoint

Reality hits after having a baby, forcing parents to make difficult decisions when it comes to meaning and finances. More and more fathers are taking time off to take care for their children, and in the process, shining a light on how much the work world needs to be re-designed for 21st century values. In The New Better Off (Seal Press, 2016) Courtney E. Martin shows how modern families are rejecting traditional status symbols and pursuing interdependent, unorthodox lives. The following excerpt is from chapter 5 “Beyond Bringing Home the Bacon.”

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Thirty-three-year-old Chris Wallace lives in super-ambitious Washington, DC, where the first question people ask when you meet them is usually: “What do you do for a living?”

Chris’s answer throws people off: “I change diapers.”

“I use it as a hook to open a conversation,” he explains. “Some people are shocked that a younger guy would put his career on pause and work at home with a kid.”

Chris has noticed that he gets pretty predictable reactions from people depending on their age. If it’s younger people, they usually express how awesome they think it is, and talk about how jealous they are if they aren’t able to spend as much time with their own little ones. If it’s older people, again, regardless of gender, they are mystified, and often have stories of regret about the choices they made around their own children’s early years.