Clint and his wife both work from home. No more traveling up and down to work saves them both seas of time. He can now play a greater role in the education of their children than ever before and hopes he is not the only father to experience it this way. “Recently I was baking pancakes with my son. I realized that if this was 2019, I wouldn’t even have been home by this time. Without my 40-minute travel time, I could stand next to my son in the kitchen and teach him to cook. . “
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Two sides of the coin
The father hopes and suspects that this shift may be forever. “Employers are now seeing firsthand what it means to reconcile work and family life and that both parents should be given the opportunity to do so. Managers cannot help but see that flexible working is good for employees, but also saves money” , says Ann Francke in The Guardian. “Fathers play a vital role when it comes to equality for women. Without progress for fathers at home, there is no progress for mothers at work. Those are two sides of the same coin.”
‘Mothers still do the dirty work in the family’>
Burden on her shoulders
Clint recalls how previous employers just didn’t make fun of him when he said he wanted to take paternity leave. “My boss called me into his office and said that I am a man and therefore don’t need that much time. Of course this is a violent example, but I see a similar attitude among supervisors and colleagues who feel social shame when I take time off to work there. For my children. Most frustrating I find that so automatically most of our children’s education falls on my wife’s shoulders. “
There is hope
Previous British research showed that mothers sacrifice themselves the most in times of corona. “As a dad arguing with his employer for more flexibility so that I can be a more active dad, this pisses me off.” Yet there is also hope. If a social shift is already underway, a crisis can be just that last push. For example, women started working en masse after the Second World War. The same seems to be happening now with regard to the involvement of fathers in the education of their child (ren).
“I have to admit that this year was really tough. But it was also the year that my supervisor and my colleagues got a glimpse into my life. I’ve done so many Zoom meetings with a child on my lap, a child doing homework next to me. or while I was making lunch and baking pancakes. Working from home literally showed companies that fathers also have a responsibility. I am hopeful that this is a wake-up call for all employers and fathers. ”
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