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Divorced fathers and the work-parenthood balance

When one thinks about divorce, there’s the image of a couple parting ways or a family learning to deal with a new child custody arrangement. When making the decision to divorce in Las Vegas, these types of immediate issues are usually at the forefront of most people’s minds. But divorce can bring ramifications in other parts of life as well, such as the workplace. In a recent Huffington Post article, a single father detailed the discrimination he feels in the workplace as he tries to juggle his career and family life.

In many cases, the choice to divorce eventually leads to positive outcomes, with both exes living happier lives apart. But what if the split unexpectedly brings hardship in another part of life? For one single father, that seems to be the case.

While a balance of motherhood and work has become commonplace for women, the man says it is often not as acceptable for men in the workplace. He says the motto for fathers seems to be “work first, parenthood second.” Getting leniency in terms of a work schedule when a father has to pick up his children from school is often much harder for men, he explains.

He says the general rule seems to be “Don’t the kids have a Mom? Can’t she take care of it?” And while this may work for married couples, a divorced father does not have the same benefit to lean on. The man, who has been a working father for 11 years, says he has felt a lot of traction from employers about taking time off for PTA meetings or leaving early to pick up children from school.

Although not every workplace may show resistance toward single fathers, it is an issue to consider when going through divorce. Divorce may lead to some personal changes that may need time for adjustment, but in the long run, the decision often leads to a more satisfying future for all those involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Workplace Discrimination: The Hidden Discrimination Divorced Dads Face At Work,” Robert Anthony, Jan. 18, 2013

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