The report, from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, showed that 21 percent of fathers surveyed answered “sometimes or less often” to whether or not they enjoyed spending time with their children. That is compared to only 11 percent of mothers answering the same way.
The largest amount of mothers, about 40 percent, answered “always or almost always” in regards to enjoying time with their kids. Only 28 percent of the fathers answered the same way.
The researchers believe that the difference in numbers is based on the difference in full-time work between the parents.
“Dads often have that added pressure of long work hours. They’re there in the mornings when time is so rushed and at dinner when there’s so much going on, so that stress of combining work with the hard parts of the family day may be spilling over into their level of enjoyment,” Dr Baxter told The Australian.
The stress of trying to manage family time and personal time can cause parents to feel negatively about the time spent with their children.
The researchers also feel that cultural factors can affect how they answer these questions more than how they truly feel.
“There’s a very strong ethos that mothers must love and care and nurture their children . . . while fathers might be more inclined to admit when things aren’t going well,” says Dr Baxter.
The survey questioned 4000 parents on how they felt about the time spent with their children. Aside from finding a gap between the feelings of mothers and fathers, the survey also found that mothers spend more time with their children than fathers do. – Summer, staff writer
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