The media seem to have been telling us that modern fathers now play a large part in sharing the time it takes to care for their children. But is it true? Are fathers playing equal time in looking after their children?
In his new book, Gideon Burrows, who does share equal care of his children, has spent some time thinking about and researching the answer to this question. He has published his findings in a book called Men Can Do It! His answer to the question is that men are playing more of a role in the upbringing of their children but nothing like as much as we are led to believe is the case. He says, amongst other things, just look at the school gates for example and judge for yourself how many dads are waiting outside school to collect their children or attending at children’s playgroups.
We are told that over the last 10 years the number of stay at home dads has increased by only 6,000 and in the same period the number of stay at home mums has decreased by some 44,000. So who is then looking after the children? Well, it seems that it is the grandparents and other carers who are helping out.
Gideon also goes on to give other interesting statistics such as to tell us that it seems that where dads are stay at home and the mother working she does more of the domestic chores than a working dad would do in a similar situation.
Gideon, not surprisingly, doubts whether the coalition government’s reforms in this area, from 2015 introducing men’s rights to share up to 12 months paid parental leave , will actually be taken up by dads especially as the increase in the right to share parental leave since 2011 has had very little take up by dads.