Parenting is rewarding, but also challenging and difficult in so many ways. Mothers and fathers do their best to raise their children to be good and productive people. This is a very demanding task so it’s not surprising it requires a lot of skill, love and devotion.

While both mothers and fathers are praised for their parenting skills, one question often pops up in all discussions about parenting: who has it worse, mothers or fathers? Or, to put it this way: is it more difficult to be a mother or a father of a child? Who has a larger burden of raising children and leading them to the right path?

Usual Misconceptions

There are some common misconceptions about parenthood that make this dilemma more confusing. For example, most people assume that mothers are always those who invest more and devote themselves more to raising their children. This belief goes as far as assuming that a mother is always the “better” parent and that a child needs its mother more than a father. To be a single father is often seen as being more difficult because men are not seen as being capable to be their children’s primary carers.

Undoubtedly, there is some truth in those beliefs and it’s certainly true for some fathers. Traditionally, mother is the parent who takes more care of the children and devotes herself to this task. However, it’s not fair to assume that fathers never play a significant role in raising their children or that they are not able to raise their children as good as mothers can.

Indeed, there are many devoted fathers who prove men can be excellent parents. These men devote their time to their children and focus on their upbringing. Some of them do it because they are single fathers, while others do it in marriage. Today, it is not unheard of to have a family consisting of a stay at home father with a working mother. Also, many parents today share parenting duties equally. Being a parent is not solely a woman’s role anymore, which makes the burden of parenting more equal for both parents. In short, both mothers and fathers experience joys and difficulties of parenthood in equal measure.

What about Traditional Parenting?

These new models show a more equal approach to parenting, which also assumes a more equal share in responsibilities and difficulties. What about traditional parenting, then? The one in which the mother is more responsible for raising the children while the father works and spends less time with them. Does this model put all of the responsibility and burden of parenting on mother alone?

While this type of parenting sure makes the mother devote more time and energy to raising her children, it doesn’t necessarily mean the role of a father is non-existent. In fact, traditional parenting puts a different sort of a burden on a father. In this model, a father is solely responsible for providing for his family, so his children’s well-being and financial security depend solely on him. He has to work and he has to find a way to give his children the best possible life he can provide. This, too, is a difficult, time consuming task and an important part of parenting.

Not to mention that a father in a traditional parenting model is usually the highest source of authority in the family, required to teach their children discipline. This is not an easy task, and it has to be done in addition to a job and other duties a man might have. All these things make traditional fatherhood more difficult than it may seem at the first glance.