The path to happiness for millennial men is … kids


<> at SVA Theater on April 9, 2014 in New York City.

Source: CNN

By Kelly Wallace, CNN

(CNN)If you are a millennial man and looking for happiness, you might want to think about becoming a dad.

“When you look at the percentages and the scores, fathers just seemed to have richer, more meaningful lives that they were more satisfied with than their single counterparts,” said Brad Harrington, executive director of the Boston College Center for Work & Family and a co-author of the report.
The report included surveys with 1,100 millennials between the ages of 22 and 35 who had at least two years professional work experience and were employed at one of five large global corporations in the insurance, financial services, accounting and consulting fields.
On the work front, millennial dads were more satisfied with their workplaces and their career achievements than single millennial men and were more likely to stay with their employers, according to the report. With respect to their overall life satisfaction, millennial men were significantly more likely, ranging from 20% to 40% more likely, to feel that their life conditions were excellent, that they’d gotten the important things they wanted in life and that, in most ways, they were living close to their ideal.
The findings are somewhat surprising, especially with research showing that millennials are on track to have the lowest rates of marriage by age 40 than any previous generation.
“Even though people may say, ‘Oh, millennials don’t care about having kids’ … and they may be more reluctant or they may be delaying their decision … (fatherhood) clearly is enriching the lives of these men, at least according to their self-report,” said Harrington.
Rocco Forgione, 35, who with his husband, Corey Martin, is the proud father of 2-year-old Forge, is not at all surprised to hear that millennial dads like him are happier than their single counterparts.
Rocco Forgione, left, his husband, Corey Martin, and their son, Forge, 2.

“When I found Corey, I found my heart, and when we had Forge, it filled it up,” he said. “It’s infinite love. I just didn’t know that existed until I had my son, and the things that I used to think about and the things that I used to care about are no longer things I care about at all,” said Forgione, who appears along with Martin and Forge in a new video by Dove Men+Care saluting fathers as heroes in their children’s lives.
The report by the Boston College Center for Work & Family, its seventh on the changing roles of modern fathers, also found that millennial dads, like millennial mothers, are struggling with the stress of trying to “have it all.”
In fact, slightly more millennial dads than millennial moms said it was difficult to combine work and personal life/family, with 15% of moms saying it was difficult, versus 19% of dads.
At the same time, career and career advancement seemed to be slightly more important to millennial dads than millennial moms. Eighty-eight percent of millennial dads said they wanted greater challenges in work versus 74% of millennial moms, and 82% of millennial dads wanted to move up the corporate ladder, versus 69% of millennial moms.

Equal division of labor leads to happiest dads

Perhaps the finding that might be most significant to parents of all ages is this: Those millennial dads who divided caregiving responsibilities equally with their spouses reported higher levels of work and life satisfaction. Higher, at least, than the fathers who believed their spouses should — and did — handle more of the caregiving responsibilities and the fathers who were described as conflicted, because they thought that caregiving should be divided equally but their spouse was doing more than they were. (Harrington, the study co-author, conceded that he falls into that “conflicted” category.)

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