Discussions about how to address work-family challenges largely centre on mothers, but the challenges also are real for fathers. There is increased recognition that a "good" father is directly involved in the care of children. But this requires time, and fathers are often time-constrained due to work.
Many fathers in Australia are working long hours and have schedules that are not family-friendly, including evening and weekend work. This can get in the way of their time with children.
Our paper Long hours and longings examines this issue. Central to our study are issues about fathers' work-family balance, and about how children's views and experiences of fathering may be shaped by their father's work.
Children's voices are rarely heard in debates about work and family, yet they can be discerning observers of how their father's job impacts the family. They appear to be aware of the importance of those jobs for family income, but also of the impact of those jobs on family time.