Many of those men still with jobs are working longer, harder, faster to avoid being axed in the next round. So ever more men are coming home exhausted, often after inordinately stressful jobs. Careercast.com, using Department of Labor data found that all eight of the most stressful careers are male-dominated.)
Yet their wives and/or society often chastise men for not spending enough time on domestic chores or with kids, often even in situations in which the woman pressured the guy into having kids or failed to use birth control, deliberately or not.
How can an exhausted guy still be a good dad? My two favorites are:
- Hanging out. Even if you're just vegging out, ask your kid if you could hang out in their room with them.
- Ask good questions regularly. For example, don't just ask, "What did you do in school today?" and accept "nothing." Follow up with a question such as, "Well, did anything make you happy, sad, proud, scared, angry?" Then be a good listener, asking follow-up questions. Even if you get nothing five nights in a row, your child expecting that you'll continue to ask will keep your child's antennae out for things to talk with you about.
- Warren Farrell, author of Father and Child Reunion, also suggests that roughhousing with your kids will be fun for the kid and reenergizing for the dad.