Mothers aren't the only ones who should think about trying to balance work with family. Fathers need to give this subject some thought as well.
Many fathers would like to spend more time with their children, but feel that work pressures don't allow them to do so. Subconsciously, they would rather be working - not because they enjoy work more, but because they may feel that they are goofing off by spending time with their children, and this could translate to perhaps a lower bonus, a later promotion, and less income.
The first thing you need to remember is that spending time with your children is not a matter of choice. It is just as important to bond with them as it is to provide for your family. True, you may feel the need to work harder if you are the sole provider, but once you decide that being with the kids is a non-negotiable option, you will start figuring out ways to spend more time with them.
One relatively easy way to get to spend more time with your children is to drop them off at school, even if this means reaching work a little later. If you have a younger child that hasn't yet started school, you can work out your schedule so you are at work one hour late once a week - in the middle of the week. It's always nice to spend mornings with your children, especially if you work late regularly.
Do you play a sport? Encourage your child to take it up as well. This way, the time spent on the sport will also be spent with your child.
Take on certain responsibilities regarding child rearing. Don't leave them all to your partner just because she is not working. Remember, it's not about "You run the house while I provide." It's not about who does how much work. It's about whether or not you want to take an active role in parenting your child and passing on your values and beliefs to him.
You don't have to take on larger responsibilities that you feel you will not be able to fulfill. If you are generally home when your child is getting ready to go to bed, you could make it a point to read to him and put him to sleep every night. Take up responsibilities that are convenient and that you enjoy.
Similarly, when your partner has taken on a certain responsibility, try not to be critical of the way she carries out her responsibilities. Either you take on the responsibility of the particular task yourself, or let your partner do it the way she feels comfortable. After all, both of you may have separate ways of dealing with things, and both have a right to raise your children according to your beliefs. Sure, you can give your opinion and try to work out a compromise, but don't demand that your partner, who is possibly doing most of the raising of the children, does it your way.
True, our fathers may not have gone out of their way to balance home and family, but we need to remember that our generation is subject to pressures our parents never had, and chances are, you will be working a lot harder than your father ever did. As a result, you do need to make a conscious decision to take time out for your children.