Today, any number of fathers are absent from the home.

Some have rarely or never been at home for their children.

Others are stuck in the office working 60 to 70-hour weeks. I worked for a man several years ago whose mantra — and, yes, he did keep repeating this — was, ‘Work, work, work! Work is everything!’

Admittedly, he was working for sales commission and at an ambitious self-imposed target, but there must come a time when a man must begin weighing his priorities. This particular sales manager had a wife and two young children at home. By now, they must be nearly ready for secondary school. I wonder how he feels now, having missed their formative years by being in the office late into the night then closeted in his office at home during the weekends.

I also knew a number of other executives who adopted the same modus operandi with their wives taking care of everything child-related. One cannot help but think that their children really won’t know them as they were always fed, bathed and in bed by the time these men returned home at night.

Then we have absentee fathers, enabled by the welfare state and leftist propaganda. What a joy it must be to sleep around, father children, boast of one’s potency and have no bill to pay at the end of it. The government pardons and encourages this behaviour in its goal to make nation-states matriarchies — whilst retaining a patriarchy at the highest levels of office. Welfare moms don’t see that, however. Handouts are everything to them. The government becomes a surrogate husband and self-servingly retains their votes.

On Christmas Day 2012, the Washington Times featured an article on the decreasing presence of dads in the United States. What follows is a brief excerpt from the article:

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.

America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows.

People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” he said.

A second article, which the Washington Times featured on December 27, 2012, expanded on the topic but also included fathers who work excessive hours:

Welfare policies among the poor have put government in the role of the father and equated fatherhood with a monthly check, said Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. This has left many fathers free to walk away from their children knowing they will not starve thanks to programs that provide cash assistance to single mothers in proportion with the number of children they have, he said.

For fathers who are physically present, it sends a message that a few hundred dollars is a sufficient role.

“I think it would be difficult to overstate the significance of a welfare check replacing a marriage,” though a committed relationship between a man and a woman — even if the man provides only the same modest income that welfare payments would — “rivals maybe a college education as a path” to upward mobility, Mr. Stanton said.

But if single mothers on welfare are married to the government, others said, the frantic and competitive lives of many men in the upper-middle class have wedded them to their jobs and relegated fatherhood to a role more centered on financial support than emotional guidance.

“I don’t strictly believe it’s an inner-city deal,” said Hugh Cunningham, pastor of the Sojourn Church in the Dallas suburbs. “A lot of suburban men are married to their work. What they bring home is leftovers.”

Although those wounds may be hidden under better clothing, the lack of two emotionally available parents crosses cultural and demographic lines.

It also seems to be a phenomenon of two extremes: the workshy absentee father who sponges off others and the ambitious senior manager intent on the next promotion to keep pace with his peers and earn more money for his family.

Whilst most of us rightly have more empathy for the latter than the former, both situations are problematic for the future of the family, including marriage. What happens when the man retires to an empty nest to a wife with whom he can no longer communicate?

Something to consider.