Im a full time Dear Dad…….. And I also work full time. Conflicting thoughts of a full time dad working full time.
I read a lot about mums who talk about juggling work and home and the inner turmoil it brings to be away from the children, run a household and still work to pay the bills. A lot of people say it’s a choice, some instances it is, most it isn’t. Bills need to be paid and two working parents eases this burden. This got me thinking about dads who work full time but are still full time dads. Stay with me I will explain.
I work in a full time job and have made a choice to further my career so my family does not go with out materialistically. I average about 55 – 60hrs a week, this does impinge on family time but it’s a choice that my wife and I have made. My wife is a SAHM but this does not give me the opportunity to clock off from being a Dear Dad for 12hrs in the day and concentrate on work. As a Dear Dad, and I’m sure other dads feel this way, even though we are not in the home we are still thinking/feeling what’s going on in the family household and also reliving memories as we make our way through the day. We also never clock off and if a child is sick or the family needs assistance Dear Dads step up to the Plate.
Dear Dads even though at work still take phone calls from home to talk to the kids, I know I do. It’s almost a daily ritual. Even though at work my family comes first. My daughter hurt herself and is off to hospital? I leave work and focus on her welfare. This is where the full time Dear Dad thought comes in. Many have different thoughts on this but it’s something that I feel many dads sell themselves short on. I agree that the standard nuclear family went out with the Keatons (Family Ties). Dear Dads and Mums play many different roles now in the family life that were exclusively male or female only 20yrs ago. Because of this Dear Dads have had to adapt and take on more of the family going ons whilst still holding down (and often succeeding) a Job/Career.
Many Dads do this well, many many more try very hard and sometimes fail. I see a lot of Dear Dads not giving themselves enough credit, and beating themselves up because work conflicts with Family time. I am emotionally involved in my daughters journey through life and am determined to be there for them when times get tough. Work calls too, and this, like all dads I must juggle. But setting firm boundaries with work and explaining to my family that sometimes Dad needs to concentrate helps them learn and me cope with being a full time worker and a full time Dear Dad.
It has led to some fascinating conversations with my daughters as they try and grasp what work is and why Dear Dad is not around when they wake up. Sometimes I think they imagine I am off to play in a giant sandpit (I work in the mines) all day and it looks like heaps of fun and they want to come play too. If only this was true. I recently showed my eldest my office and she was almost disappointed that there were no Tonka trucks and diggers to play with. But this all helps them understand that even though I am not there I am thinking of them always and I am still a full time Dear Dad.
Would I give up my job if I could and stay at home all day? Absolutely, but as someone recently said on Twitter “Nappies don’t grow on trees”. To all the Dear Dads out their, keep going. If your children love you your succeeding at juggling both, what ever the work/home life ratio is.