Work + Family = Daddy Stress

It's dinner time at the Mitchell house, and Adriene Mitchell and her daughter, Alexandria, are dining alone, waiting for dad. CBS News Correspondent John Roberts reports.

"It's hard," Adriene says. "You know, he always says he doesn't just want to work and pay the bills, he wants to be a part of her life."

But on this day, Preston Mitchell's part in his daughter's life will be measured in just a few precious moments. By the time he got home from his job with a courier service, it was 8:30 not 5:30, as he had hoped.

"It's kind of sad and frustrating, so I try to make up as much time as possibly can by hugging her and holding her and playing with her," Preston says.

Preston says he loves his job, but lives for Alexandria. Trying to balance the two is leading to what Families & Work Institute consultant James Levine calls "daddy stress."

"It's that tension between wanting to succeed at work and wanting to be there for our kids, and it's something that has really increased over the last 20 years," Levine says. "Most businesses that have realized there are working mothers there haven't woken up to the fact that there are working fathers there, too."

Levine says this is not your father's working world. The desire of today's dads to spend more time with the kids is leading to the same emotional pressures that working women suffer. And increasingly, they are taking action.

Preston's friend, Benny Mingo, left his engineering job after 12 years - tired of long hours that kept him from seeing his son Omar.

"Finally, there was one major project that came down the pike and the pressure was on," Mingo says. "We had to get these parts out the door and it was at that time I said, 'Enough is enough,' you know, 'I need to make a decision.'"

Levine says that 30 years ago, there was "much more of a unidimensional definition of the good father."

"If you could provide well for the family, if you could put bread on the table, that's what you were supposed to do...there wasn't the same expectation that women were putting on men or that men were putting on themselves to not only provide but to be there," he says.

Now, being there for their kids means fathers must seek out family-friendly employers. Mingo's new job is with a German company that gives all of its employees the flexibility to attend to family matters. Another major attraction -- the company has recently broken ground on an on-site child care center.

"Today's dads really consider success not just being a good provider, but being there for there kids and being able to be involved,"Levine says. "When a company recognizes that, they are going to capture the heart and soul of these guys."

Mingo can now share child-care duties with his working wife, picking Omar up at daycare, and making it home in time for dinner.

He's tamed the biggest source of stress for all working parent -- control over the time he spends with his family -- a dream for men like Preston Mitchell who struggle to be a '90s dad in a '50s corporate culture.

"Time is so important," Preston says. "You know, you can give a child this and you can give him all the materialistic things in the world, but time is the only thing you can never replace."

Reported By John Roberts