“I’ve Got More of a Role to Play”: Australian Fathers’ Perspectives on Parenting Through the Lens of COVID-19 Lockdown

Publication Name

Psychology of Men and Masculinity


Using interviews with 15 Australian fathers, we explored the impact of having spent time in COVID-19 lockdown on men’s views of their relationship with their children and family–work life balance. All interviewees were married to women and living with their children, most were employed and working full-time. Three themes were identified from the interviews: an ongoing desire to be present as a father, benefits to being present through COVID-19 lockdowns for self as a father and for the children, and conflicting pressures from workplaces and at home which were barriers to being present. Survey data 1 year later revealed that many of these fathers had shifted their work patterns because of their lockdown experience. Shifts in workplace culture and behavior were identified as supporting flexible working arrangements. Despite the immediate challenges of lockdown, it provided the opportunity for some fathers to reevaluate their priorities resulting in long-term changes in working patterns.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)