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How to Be a Happy Working Dad

Rohini Mohan
Dads all around the world are making changes in their professional and personal lives, to give more time to their children. Recent years have witnessed a steady rise in the amount of time spent by fathers with their children, and that has led to an increase in their happiness quotient.

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Gone are the days when men identified themselves by their jobs alone. Today's dads want to spend quality time as well as play an active role in the lives of their children. Both parents realize the need to be there for their kids and make time for their jobs as well.
Having learned the hard way from past generations, dads do not want to be labeled as mere breadwinners. They want to be known as super-dads who do everything from making dinner, reading the kids to sleep, taking them to the park, and picking them up from school.

After all, why should moms always be the favorite and dads the second-best?
Work as a Family Unit
The family must work as one unit. Matters of relevance must be discussed together to prevent either of the spouses from feeling neglected or sidelined. If the children are old enough, the parents must ask them how they feel about a big decision and whether they are okay with the idea.
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
The most important point to discuss with your partner is, whether to work from home, or opt for a part-time or full-time job. Try to look for a job that is flexible, so that you have the freedom to cater to the needs of your children such as, pick them up from school or look after your unwell child.
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.
While you are searching for a suitable job, you must consider the time spent traveling to work and back. If you can somehow manage to reduce the hours spent in commuting, you could make life less hectic. This would also help reduce the monthly expenses and encourage saving. Secondly, if both parents get jobs nearer to home, either of them can help in case of an emergency. This puts less pressure on the couple and provides more security to the children.
Do Not Keep Count
You cannot possibly spend an exact number of hours with your kids on a daily basis. Try to spend quality time with them, and as far as possible do not bring your workload home. It would defeat the purpose, if you appear worried and agitated because of a bad day or an impending deadline at work.
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
You must have a list of babysitters on your dial list, who have been interviewed thoroughly and are willing to be called at a moment's notice. Scrutinize fellow dads in your neighborhood and befriend those who seem trustworthy, so that play dates for the kids can be arranged. 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 happy working dad, you must get over your preconceived notions about gender-specific chores. You will need to be more flexible and take responsibility for whatever needs fixing at a given point in time. Which means, you may have to cook up some pancakes on the go, wash the clothes & fold them, clean the kitchen, dishes, & sometimes the entire house!
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
However busy couples may be with their jobs and looking after their kids, they must keep the intimacy and love for each other alive. Your marriage or relationship must not revolve around the children alone, and some time must be kept aside for caring for your spouse and feeling loved in return.
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.