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What to know about fatherhood in America

A father's role has evolved significantly over the past several decades. In Tennessee and elsewhere, it is not uncommon to see dads staying at home or even acting as a single parent. According to a Pew Research poll, fathers are nearly just as likely as mothers to say that being a parent is central to their identity. In fact, 54 percent of fathers say that being a parent is rewarding all of the time while 46 percent say that it is enjoyable all of the time.

In 2015, fathers reported doing seven hours of child care activities each week. This is triple the rate reported in 1965, and they put in about nine hours a week of housework compared to about four in 1965. Today, dads are less likely to be the sole breadwinner in the family. Only 27 percent of families with a child under the age of 18 have the father as the sole worker in the household.

About 52 percent of fathers say that it is difficult to balance work and family life. Of fathers who responded to the poll, about 29 percent say that they always feel rushed. This compares to 37 percent of working mothers who feel that they are always rushed. Both working fathers and mothers are likely to say that they would rather stay at home with their children.

Most parents want to be a part of their child's life. This is generally true regardless of the parent's gender, and state law generally allows a parent who is fit to raise a child to do so. Those who wish to pursue their parental rights might want to have the help of a family law attorney in doing so.

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