Men Freaking Out About Their Jobs and Kids

Researchers from the Families and Work Institute spent long hours considering a 2008 survey on work-family conflict to explain why “men now experience more work-family conflict than women,” as the graph above illustrates. Their guess is that men are …

… much more involved in their home lives than men in the past, spending more time with their children and contributing more to the work of caring for their homes and families. In other words, men are experiencing what women experienced when they first entered the workforce in record numbers — the pressure to “do it all in order to have it all.”

They’re calling this phenomenon — of men being stressed because they work and want to spend time with their kids — “The New Male Mystique.” [Throws scarf around neck.] (Also: Among the study’s more-intriguing findings, as NPR points out, is that men with kids work about three hours more per week than men without kids. Hm!)

The study’s proposed solutions, which run from flailingly vague to sweet but unlikely, include “develop … policies and practices that discourage and dispel the mystique of the work-centric man and his linear, uninterrupted career path,” “Change the assumption that men must work long hours to be good employees,” and “ Offer men reduced schedules with pro-rated pay, benefits and opportunities for career advancement.” Tricky stuff. Aand that’s all I’ve got.