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How to Be a Happy Working Dad

Rohini Mohan Feb 19, 2024

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Gone are the days when dads solely defined themselves by their jobs. Today, they seek quality time and an active role in their children's lives, balancing work and parenthood alongside moms.
Having learned from past generations, dads reject the label of mere breadwinners. They aspire to be super-dads, handling everything from dinner to bedtime stories, park visits, and school pickups. Why should moms always be the favorite while dads settle for second-best?
Work as a Family Unit
Family unity is crucial. Discuss relevant matters together to avoid anyone feeling neglected. Parents should involve older children in big decisions, considering their feelings and opinions.
Plans such as shifting cities, moving to a new home, or changing schools or jobs, can have a big impact on children, and thus must be discussed beforehand. Chores must be delegated among the couple, so that neither partner feels overworked or unfairly treated.
If the work can be assigned according to the interest of the partners, that would save a lot of trouble and reduce the scope of arguments. As for the chores that no one likes to do, those will need to be swapped on a day-to-day basis.
Find a Suitable Job
Discuss with your partner the choice between working from home, part-time, or full-time. Aim for job flexibility to accommodate your children's needs, like school pickups or caring for them when they're unwell.
While looking for jobs, also consider whether you'd be able to make it home on time for dinner with your family and not have to bring work home often. Your work must also give you the flexibility to work from home on certain days.
When seeking a job, factor in commute time. Reducing travel hours can ease life's pace and lower expenses, fostering savings. If both parents work closer to home, it offers flexibility during emergencies, easing pressure on the couple and enhancing children's security.
Do Not Keep Count
You can't spend a fixed number of hours daily with your kids. Prioritize quality time and avoid bringing work home. It defeats the purpose if you're stressed about work during family time.
It would be better to finish your work for the day before you spend time with your family. All children need is to be able to share a few laughs with their dads and have them around more often.
Always Keep Backup Ready
Maintain a list of vetted babysitters on speed dial for immediate calls. Get to know and befriend trustworthy dads in your neighborhood to organize playdates for the kids.
Keep your family informed about upcoming business trips, that will require them to come and look after your house and kids. Single dads especially must keep their friends and family close by, and seek their help whenever needed.
Learn to Role-reverse
To be a content working dad, let go of gender-specific chore stereotypes. Stay flexible and handle tasks as needed, whether it's cooking pancakes, doing laundry, or cleaning the house and dishes.
Both partners are equals and thus have to swap roles to ensure that the kids are raised well. Resisting to help will only culminate into arguments which will disrupt the harmony of the family, and thus must be avoided.
Keep the Spark Alive
No matter how hectic life gets with work and kids, it's crucial to maintain intimacy and love in your relationship. Ensure your marriage isn't solely focused on the children; set aside time to care for and feel loved by your partner.
Saying a few words of affection and appreciation to your partner and being considerate, can go a long way in keeping a relationship steady. More importantly, always treat your partner with love and respect in front of the children, as that would set a good example for them to learn from.
Dads who cannot seem to make enough time for their kids must not despair. The only things your kids truly want from you is your kindness, love, and care. Spend quality time indoors or take your family out during weekends and show how much you love them.