I just read that a study in the UK found that an increasing number of men are choosing children over their careers. They’re turning down promotions, taking pay cuts and refusing to work overtime just so they can spend more quality time with their families. The average annual sacrifice is 2,800 pounds (roughly $5,500 USD).
It’s not surprising, really, although I’m curious as to how much money the men polled make each year. I can’t imagine that fathers struggling to make ends meet would forgo promotions and more money. But in general, men have been taking a more active, hands-on approach in parenting for a long time and want the work-life balance just as much as women do. They want to be good fathers, know what’s going in their son/daughter’s life, and not let them become strangers as they grow up.
I always thought that my dad stayed at the same job with the same company for almost 20 years because that’s just what Baby Boomers did (and because he’s lazy – sorry, Dad!). But when I spoke to an aunt recently, she told me that he turned down opportunities that offered much higher salaries because they were too far from home and he wanted to be closer to his kids. My family is kind of opposite of the norm, though, since my mom earned more money, worked long hours and tacked on even longer commutes. As expected, my dad knows me and my siblings much better than my mom does. Now that I’m older, I wish she and I were closer… (although out of the utmost respect to my mother, I know everything she did was with our best interests in mind and I understand the sacrifices she made).
Here’s the link to that article in The Telegraph.