After almost a year of collecting Working Parent Stories (and reading a lot on the subject), there is one thing that really confuses me. Why are there so many articles, videos, and conversations about whether or not a mother's career helps or hurts her children? Actually, that's not what confuses me the most. The thing I really wonder about is this; why are there so few articles, videos, and conversations about whether or not a father's career helps or hurts his children? It's hard to find anything on the subject. Even if the family has inherited or accumulated great wealth, people don't seem interested in discussing whether or not a father's career is best for his kids. (I guess I have heard a few people, both men and women of means, explain that they work to set good examples for their children. That's interesting, and seems to imply that not working sets a bad example.)
Why is it that we're so uninterested in how a father's career influences his children's lives, and at the same time we're so very fascinated with mothers' careers?
There's this guy I used to work with and we often had fun and interesting conversations. He asked unexpected questions and took conversations in unexpected directions. Once he asked me, "Why do you work? You obviously don't need the money." I responded by asking him, "Why do you work full-time? You obviously don't need that much money." He smiled, and as I recall, the topic was changed.
Given that so many men have held full-time jobs for so many years, and so many of their kids seem to have survived and thrived that we find a discussion about whether or not it's good for those kids boring, I find myself wondering why we are still discussing the ways women's careers influence their children. What gives? Serious question.