In the last 50 years, many things have changed in society. This also includes the role model of the father within a family. The times when the man was exclusively the breadwinner and child rearing was left to the woman have long been a thing of the past.
Nowadays, most fathers value spending time with their children and making a significant contribution to their upbringing. Nevertheless, the issue of career remains important. Consequently, working fathers increasingly find themselves in a conflict between career and family. This is evidenced by a 30-year American study.
Parental leave is no longer a women's issue
Let's take a closer look at the conflict that working fathers face. Most workers prefer employees who have little or no outside commitments to fulfill. Those who can focus solely on the job are seen as more determined and reliable. This presents a problem for most working fathers.
Even though the old role model no longer fits into modern times, most men are still afraid to ask for more flexible working hours or even part-time. In the working world, this does happen, but it is still far from being considered common. Mostly it is the mothers who (can) adapt their working hours to the family.
There is still an inhibition among fathers in this regard, even though the desire for flexibility definitely exists. This is shown by several studies.
A change in employers' thinking is needed
Ideally, employers will become even more aware of the desire to reconcile family and career in the coming years. Allowing working mothers more flexibility has long been established and is even taken for granted in some industries. Unfortunately, attention to working fathers is still lagging a little behind.
Working fathers are increasingly willing to make professional sacrifices for their families. Nevertheless, there is still an aspiration among most men to achieve a leading position. The goal is to find a way so that the two are not mutually exclusive. This also calls for a rethink on the part of employers:
The fact that satisfied employees are more motivated is scientifically proven.
Work-life balance is definitely part of job satisfaction - even for working fathers. Unfortunately, you can't influence the views of your employer. However, as a working father, there are things you can do to find a balance between your career goals and your family.
How do you find balance as a working dad?
Want to get ahead professionally and still spend ample time with your kids? The keyword is: Time ManagementThis is also known as work-life balance. In your case, this means that working time and family time are balanced.
First, question your value in relation to your family. Since you're reading this article, it's safe to assume that you consider career and family equally important and want to balance the two. However, perhaps the priority of career or Family life in phases. This is not at all wrong or reprehensible, but perfectly normal.
To find the balance you want, you should first take a look at your commitments and restructure them if necessary:
- Sort the tasks by priority.
- Work through the tasks one after the other: avoid getting bogged down.
- Can you work at times when your children are being cared for elsewhere?
- Which professional tasks can you delegate without a guilty conscience?
- What are your weekend plans?
- What kind of activities can you plan alone with your children?
Basically: A clear structure always helps to create more time for the things that are important to you. First and foremost, this includes setting priorities as a working father: What really needs to get done today? Is overtime really necessary? Are there tasks that can be responsibly handed over to colleagues without families?
Quality is more important than quantity
Realize one fact: when it comes to your kids, quality is more important than quantity. What do we mean by that? It's simple: let's say you have a whole day off. Now, if you're on the couch watching TV or playing on your phone while the kids are frolicking around you, you're not getting anything out of each other. You are physically present, but still not really there.
Let's say you come home after a long day at work and spend an hour or two with your children. You eat together, maybe play a game or read to them. This time together is much more intense than a whole day that you spend next to each other instead of with each other.
If you work full-time, weekends are especially important. If your partner does a lot of the childcare during the week because of your working hours, it would be an opportunity for you to do something with your children on your own at the weekend. I'm sure your partner would be grateful for some time off too.
But watch out: It's not fair if you only share the pleasant moments with your children, while your partner has to deal with homework, parent-teacher conferences and so on. Talk to each other to find a balance here.
Detach yourself from exaggerated claims
In glossy magazines or on television we are constantly told what a perfect family should look like. Stylish parents, good-humored children, the family home with garden and dog. The parents both work successfully in well-paid jobs and the children are math geniuses or play the violin. Needless to say, family life is characterized by Sunday morning harmony.
This image, which does not exist in reality, puts pressure on mothers and fathers alike. By all means, stay with yourself and do not orientate yourself on others. What kind of father do you want you be? What values do you want you to give your children for the rest of their lives? The perfect father is a myth. Perfect is what feels good and right for you and your family.
Four concrete ways to get more family time as a working dad
Sufficient time with your family does not have to be at the expense of your career - and vice versa. We have already discussed the most important factors for a satisfactory work-life balance:
- 1. sensible time management: restructure and delegate tasks
- 2. detach yourself from role models: trust your own sense of fatherhood
Now we'd like to share with you four concrete ways you can succeed in spending more (quality) time with your kids as a working dad.
1. it's the little things that count
The affection of children cannot be bought with material things. At Dear and attention in everyday life is what counts. A father who takes his child to school every morning is much closer to him emotionally than someone who only shows up for big events. Shift your focus from the big events to the small experiences of everyday life.
Show interest in your child's life. Ask him how he is doing and listen to him when he needs to talk. All these small but immensely important gestures are easy to implement even for working fathers.
2. stand up for your right to family time
The fear of being professionally disadvantaged or even ridiculed prevents many fathers from demanding and defending the family time they are entitled to. You should let go of the fear of being looked down upon by colleagues or superiors. Admittedly, this is unusual at first and certainly not easy. But it is worth it.
Is it standard practice in your company to be available at all times? Unless there is a business emergency or your job requires you to be available, there is no reason why you should always be available. Clearly communicate to your colleagues and supervisors the days you are not available after hours. Period. Justify yourself and don't argue.
3. clearly separate work from family time
You may have managed to organize regular family time. The next tip may sound strange at first, but it's a good one: be consistent with your family time! This means that you don't check your work phone or write work emails in between spending time with your kids.
When you are with your children, give them your full attention without any professional distractions. Children are very sensitive and can sense when you are distracted.
The same goes for your job: when you are working, your full concentration is on your work. By clearly separating your work and family life, you will be more focused and ultimately more satisfied. If you try to look after your children and work at the same time, frustration quickly sets in. You get the feeling you're not really accomplishing either. This doesn't have to be the case.
4. you decide on the compatibility of family and career
Of course, work-life balance can be affected by various external influences. However, it is ultimately up to you how you handle potential disruptive factors. You are not a pawn in the game, but decide for yourself which path you take: This is true both in your career and in fatherhood. Make yourself aware of this.
Always stay with yourself: What do you want to achieve and what are you willing to sacrifice for it? What are the limits of your sacrifice as a father and as a career person? Only make decisions that you can reconcile with yourself. Never go beyond these personal limits.
Be consistent if anything violates those boundaries. That promotion would mean you're constantly traveling for business? The thought of only seeing your kids sporadically feels unbearable? Make the decision you're most comfortable with. Never make a certain choice just because others expect it of you. You alone decide what is best for you and your children.
The Visions Challenge 2021 as a signpost
As emphasized earlier, it is up to you to decide which path you want to take professionally and as a father. But what if you are not at all sure? You would not be alone. Many people do not know exactly what they really want in life. Sometimes former life goals and priorities change over time.
However, setting clear goals can help you find a way to balance work and family life according to your wishes. In our one-week Greator Visions Challenge 2021 you will learn how to release old blocks and redefine your life goals. Only with a clear Vision open up the possible paths to a fulfilled professional and family life.
You will receive one week of daily coaching videos for more inner clarity in your life. In your personal workbook you will find important exercises to achieve your dream life. In addition, you get four Meditation instructions to the hand, which provide for inner peace.
Have you become curious? Then you can find more information under the following link: