However it has afforded me opportunities in life that May never come again. These opportunities have nothing to do with work.
Last week I took my 6-month-old swimming . It was 11.30 in the middle of the week and I couldn’t help but think, shouldn’t I be at work?
Part of me thought that there was something wrong with this. But there wasn’t. I am a work from anywhere consultant with my own business. I had been up very early that day, and all my work was (thankfully) done. I knew I could have this time guilt free.
I do this all of the time, I make sure my work doesn’t not interfere with getting to enjoy time with my little boy. Getting a little taste of it when he was born was enough, I was hooked. My wife and I sort of slipped into this way of living, without overthinking it. I created flexibility for work, and I made time to be a hand’s-on dad. Bliss.
This won’t last forever, it can’t; can it? But for now, being so involved in this part of life is rewarding me in ways I didn’t think existed.
Guys don’t talk about these things, not typically anyway. Maybe we don’t think them, so how could we talk about them? Here are some of the things I have learned about life from being a hands-on Dad:
Minding My Son Makes Me a Better Husband. I have complete empathy for all the joy and challenges my wife experiences (more joy than challenge). Makes me a better partner and less stressed.
Work Life Balance IS NOT A MYTH. It is possible to balance home and work life. I have experienced his first roll over, first sound, first smile and first swim all in person, not through a whatsapp pic. None of this to the detriment of my work.
It’s Crucial To Talk. As men, we don’t talk about how we feel in a moment, we talk about the moment. Very differing experiences.
Men are Oblivious to Homemakers and Their Value. . We are poorly prepared to be truly supportive to women who carry and bring our kids into the world. We are oblivious to the reality of it all, bad and good.
Maternity Leave is Unfair. Until both parents are given equal opportunity (in the form of paid leave) to co-parent, men will always be expected to give up this opportunity to parent, and women will pay the price in the form of stunted career development and salary inequality.
Nothing prepares you for fatherhood – the happiness in small things, the elation in the big, the helplessness and the terrifying responsibility that lies ahead.
It is exhilarating. I am aware mine is a good story, a happy one, one I choose to share because we don’t do this anymore. We thrive on misery so forget about the normal, the banal.
Quote – Patrick Kavanagh, Irish Poet - wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Because I do more than work, my life is rewarding and fulfilling, every day feels full and fun. Stress is confined to the situation in which it arises and then like the horizon, gets put back into perspective. My life has never seemed so full or so rich, so happy or less frightening.
If we can fix what’s broken for working dads, then the world would be a better place. Don’t you agree?