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Are you constantly at it full-speed trying to be productive at work, spend quality time with your family and make progress at the gym? Quite a set of challenges, right? Often, it’s just not possible to accomplish everything every day. Something’s got to give.
So, how do you make it work? The preconceived notions of what a dad looks like simply doesn’t fly any more. Dads are doing double duty. Like many moms, dads come home and work a “second shift”. This is largely because so many families are dual-earning families, sharing the work that goes with running a family. However, dads are still, according to research, the sole or primary providers for 85% of dual parent households. No pressure!
Although today’s dad has tripled the time he spends caring for his kids (and does twice the housework compared to dads of a generation ago), over 80% aspire to fully share parenting with their partners, but only 30% report that they do. Turns out that workplace and corporate cultures have not kept up with these changes. Employers still expect men to be “all in” for work even when they are sharing care at home.
Truth is, it’s not easy, and the perfect work-life balance probably doesn’t exist. The main thing is figuring out what’s important to you and what works for your family.
When dads are able to succeed at work and be involved at home, families benefit. Research shows that kids with dads who are involved in their lives from the start have better health, better grades, higher rates of graduation, as well as lower rates of incarceration and teen pregnancy.
So, Dad, how do you empower this journey? Remember, you are not doomed as a dad because your schedule is squeezed. It often seems like an impossible tug-of-war, but it doesn’t have to be!
We have a few ideas on how to navigate this new normal:
- Pencil in your kids. Make sure you spend a little time with them before bed, this will take planning and purpose on your side to prioritise your day with the end in mind.
- Talk, talk, talk to your partner. Set aside 30 minutes each night after the kids have gone to bed for mom and dad to talk. Work as a team.
- Eat healthy and exercise. Good nutrition will give you fuel to burn the candle at both ends and exercise will give you energy to do all that.
- Learn to say no. Define what’s important and commit to that, say no to everything else.
- Be flexible. Life comes fast and hard and it’s important to be flexible in how you deal with it. Adapt and improvise.
- Speak to your employer about working flexible hours. Get to the office early so you could attend special events. Make the effort to be physically present.
- Resolve not to take work home, or do it after the kids are in bed.
- Make time for YOU. Find what you like to do – and then do more of it. If you can involve your partner or the kids in your downtime activities, all the better.
Work-life balance is more of an ongoing goal than a target or a destination. Success lies in constantly trying. If you care and do your best, you will, indeed, succeed at work and at home.
Source: www.parent.co, hbr.org, books.google.co.za, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.livestrong.com, time.com, www.allprodad.com, www.smartparents.sg, www.aha-now.com, www.buzzfeed.com, www.thespruce.com, healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au, www.parents.com, www.success.com, www.fatherhood.org, parentsatwork.com.au
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.