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Dear companies: Maybe it's time to realize that your dad employees are parents too.

Diaper changes, toddler tantrums, and a lack of sleep make parenting challenging. ​Parents​ who work outside the home​ have ​added issues to contend with.

A rigid schedule at the office usually doesn't jibe when raising children is involved. 

Women in the workplace have challenges that many men don't have to deal with. For example, women sometimes are paid less for the same job, and at times they can be at higher risk of being passed up for promotions by their male colleagues.


But when it comes to parental leave and flexible schedules, dads run into problems. And these kinds of situations hurt all parents.

Men are "supposed" to be at work, not at home ... says the boring stereotype.

A recent Australian study revealed that men are twice as likely to be denied flex hours at the workplace than their female counterparts. 

Ironically, this is because of the sexism that women face in the workplace. Essentially, women are presumed to be the primary caregivers, so in places with poor workplace cultures, managers presume that men don't need time off and women do. 

Being a working dad isn't always fun and games. Image from the Daddy Doin' Work Instagram feed.

Apparently, in the minds of some poor misguided souls, "It's a mom's job to stay at home with the kids." 

Although there are people who actually believe that to be true, society isn't playing along. For example, in 2013, almost two-thirds of mothers with children under the age of 6 were in the labor force. 

Not to mention, the current population of stay-at-home dads in the U.S. has doubled since 1989 to approximately 2 million men

Parenthood has evolved, so why hasn't the workplace?

What it means to be parent in today's world is completely different from in the past.  Moms are crushing it in the corporate workforce and more dads are opting to spend more time at home with their kids. 

The days of a man's worth as a father being directly correlated to how big his paycheck is are over. Today's dads are way more involved than ever before. But what happens when a dad asks his employer for some leeway with his schedule in order to be there for his children?

According to the Australian study, 60% of men surveyed desired flexible hours at the workplace, but in many cases, they were shot down by their employers. 

One male respondent said his manager told him that flexible hours are "traditionally only something we make work for women." 

GIF from "Oblivion."

UNSURPRISING FACT: Lots of dads wish they could spend more time with their family.

Work-family balance is something that many mothers who work outside the home struggle with, but it's not just a female issue. Many dads experience significant challenges juggling work and home life. 

46% of dads believe they are not spending enough time with their kids, while only half as many mothers (23%) feel the same way. 

Dad shakin' some time loose to play with his kid. GIF from "Modern Family."

Even when companies have flexible working hours in place, some men are reluctant to take advantage of the perks due to fear of backlash. 

A dad named Jon agreed to share his thoughts with Upworthy.

"My employer has policies in place where I can work whenever I want to. The problem is I still get passed up on projects and promotions because I have to leave work at a certain time to pick up my son from daycare. I consistently outperform my colleagues, but I'm not taken seriously due to needing some flexibility in my schedule. In other words, the policies are good, but the culture still needs work."

Jon went on to mention that in many cases, male and female colleagues will ask why his son's mom can't pick him up instead. 

His answer always remains the same: He does it because he wants to be there for his kid.

As long as he's taking care of his workplace responsibilities, who in their right mind would have a problem with that?

Do you know who may save the day for parents everywhere? Millennials.

The line between working and parenting is often blurred. Image from the Daddy Doin' Work Instagram feed.

That's right. The heroes of this story are the best and brightest millennials who refuse to work for employers that won't offer flexible schedules and benefits. The cool part is that it's not just millennial women who feel this way — millennial dads are in on it too.

"When I was applying for jobs, the first thing I asked my prospective employers about was flexible scheduling," said William, a 28-year-old dad to 18-month-old twins. "Being an integral part of my kids' lives is important to me, and I will settle for nothing less."

He's not alone. 80% of millennials said their main reason for staying at a job is pay and benefits, including flexibility. 

Some smart companies are waking up to this fact.

Real talk — sometimes we all have to take work home with us. It happens. But having the ability to bond with our children is important too.

Netflix offers one year of paid paternity leave for its employees, and other companies like Facebook and Johnson & Johnson have similarly awesome policies. Kudos to them for understanding that the days of parents being locked up in their offices for 12-14 hours a day isn't a good look for anyone involved. 

So, the next time you see a dad leaving work early to attend his daughter's dance recital, smile and realize that we're making progress. 

Cheers to the dads who put family first! GIF from "Seinfeld."

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


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