New fathers, old attitudes

2004

The overwhelming majority of fathers-to-be do not want their partners to return to work after having a child, a survey has found.

A poll of 2,000 pregnant women and their partners by Pregnancy & Birth magazine found that although more than half of all new mothers return to work, almost nine out of ten men said that it “bothers them” that they cannot be the sole breadwinner.

Three-quarters of expectant mothers said that they wish they could give up work after having a baby but only a third think this is realistic due to financial pressures.

Men also want to be involved fathers, with almost all believing they were as important as mothers.

A third of fathers-to-be questioned felt that paternity leave should be 10 weeks long, (although they were not asked who would be expected to pay for this), while eight out of ten said they intended to take paternity leave when their baby was born.

The survey also found that almost half of fathers would give up work to be stay-at-home fathers, if they could afford it, an increase on the third of fathers who said the same thing in last year's survey.