Arizona fathers and their counterparts across the United States are perhaps more deeply connected to their identity as parents than ever before. A 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center indicates the strong connection to fatherhood and child-rearing expressed by American dads. As more and more children experience fathers as primary caregivers and stay-at-home dads, fathers across the country report that their own lives are deeply enriched by parenthood.
A large number of fathers define parenting as extremely important to their personal identity. Similar percentages of fathers and mothers – 57 and 58 percent, respectively – report the centrality of parenthood to their understanding of themselves. Even more, 54 percent of dads say that parenting is always rewarding for them.
The Pew survey also compared parents’ time spent on child care in 1965 and 2015. Fathers in 2015 said that they spent nearly three times as much time on child care as fathers did in 1965, even if that amount is around half of the average child care time spent by mothers weekly. However, many fathers also expressed their desire for more time with their children.
Work-life balance is a major concern for working fathers. Nearly half of the dads in the survey said that they have too little time to spend with their children, and over half said it is at least somewhat difficult to balance the needs of family and work time.
As parenthood has become more central to fathers’ self-identification and social roles, family law has also changed. Today, shared parenting is often preferred by judges making child custody determinations unless there are issues such as domestic violence or substance abuse.