Working Dad’s Efforts: Time For Their Time Out

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What makes a family truly functional is having a mother and the father, not only present but actively involved in the maintaining of the household, the earning and most importantly, upbringing of the children. It is an equally divided responsibility, and if one member shirks or is unable to pay enough attention, it not only increases the load on the other one, but its effects are felt deeply by the children who miss out on their share of love and care. Until recent times, in fact from the 18th century onwards, it was a commonly practiced idea that the role of the father is just bringing home the paycheck, providing food and shelter, and the rest of the upbringing of the children was up to the stay-at-home mother. In as much as being a heavy task in itself, that is not all a father is supposed to be.

Especially in todays’ age when the inflation everywhere has made it imperative for both the parents to earn, the task of child rearing and housekeeping has to be equally shared too. Children look up to their fathers for support and strength, not just monetary, but love and incomparable jewels of wisdom that they have gained going through the journey of their lives.

There is no doubt that a man can pull a whole family together, with low wages and tough situations. Its only his strength and skill, his power of will that enables him to bear any situation that might fall, to protect his loved ones, his wife and kids, a man will go through a lot before he would quit…or talk. That is the depth with which a man has been blessed, he will weather the storm alone rather than let his wife or children suffer.

The ‘Me Time’ For Working Dads…

In recent years, it became a practice for some companies to give a paternity leave to fathers who just had a baby, so that they could be there to cherish the first moments of their parenthood right alongside the new mother, and also could help out in any way they can. Many men take this leave to be an all-around father, not just an office worker and they really want to be there for their family. But sometimes the situation is not so favorable, the boss is not happy, or because of the leaves he has taken for hospital visits and doctor’s appointments, he gets criticized at his workplace. It has been duly noted in different surveys that a working father is often penalized for his leaves, doesn’t get promoted or entrusted with big projects, or gets deprived of a prospective raise. But he is a real father when he still does it, when being with his children is more important to him than his big bonuses. Harvard Business Reviews has covered research on working dads’ desire for a granted break, a bit of a “me time” as they put it.

Today’s age, fathers are really striving to be there for everything, from births to graduations, participating in every sort of event, helping out with household chores, supporting their working wives, creating a balanced life between work and home. The pressures that they have to sustain though, the heat they take from their bosses, beating the traffic to pick up kids from schools, making it to the meetings, helping out with sports or homework, we need to stop and consider, where does this leave time for them? We give due space to the working mothers, acknowledge the fact that they are working at two jobs at the same time, as motherhood is a full time job, but so is being a father! They never get a day off from being a parent either, they work twice as hard at their jobs and then at home they strive to be supportive and caring. Our article on the gift preferences for Mother’s Day 2014 also explains how important it is to be involved in your children’s lives today to be able to stay in their memories tomorrow.

Why Working Fathers Need A Break?

We should stop to think that there might be a reason. Maybe the pressure of the full-time fatherhood is taking its toll on them. Maybe we never realized all our lives what our fathers gave up to be with us. They cut back on their friend’s outings, saved up all they could for our school, maybe didn’t buy themselves new pair of shoes and bought one for us instead. We never realize until we become parents ourselves that our parents went through hell and back for us. That’s why it is becoming more of an awareness issue nowadays to realize a working dad’s problems, the hard times that he has to face and the paternal leaves that are as yet not mandated, but are gaining recognition and strength.

Like the Civil Rights which were passed in 1964 were first passed in 1928, this bill coming from both parties in the U.S. today might get accepted in the coming decades. Recently, the White House held a summit for working dads, which was designed to address the stigma that working dads face at workplace while they want to spend time with their children. It was discussed that the relationship that fathers can create in the first few weeks of their bonding with the new child can help them go a long way. Paid paternity leaves were the main idea that was addressed.

The stress of a workplace is enough to drive anybody to the brink, but when you have got people back at home who rely on you to deliver, you just have got to deliver. Then to face office politics, or negative attitude because you took paternity leaves to be with your wife at your child’s birth, to see the cutbacks in your paychecks because you refused to put in extra hours so you could be at your child’s function, yet you don’t complain, instead you go home to your wife and because she too just came back from her job, instead of letting your feet up you decide to help her with the dinner. All this signals just how much your family actually means to you, and how tough sometimes life can be. But then comes the time when the children are all getting ready to start their life, their careers and your pride makes it all worthwhile.

All the criticism that you had to face for being a helper, for missing out on something that was really important for your career just so you could cut your child’s umbilical cord, like the NY Mets Danny Murphy who missed the first game of the season to be with his wife at his son’s birth, maybe the people who are talking don’t know what it’s like to hold your infant child in your arms, but a father who wants to be more than just a breadwinner or a career guy surely does, and it’s the best feeling this world can offer!

He Is Giving It All For His Family…

Everybody needs to take time off every once in a while, no matter what job they are at. We give due space to working mothers, considering all the time and energy they continuously spend on their families’ daily needs, household chores, looking after the kids and then managing their jobs too, so what about the dads who do all that too?

He Is Giving It All For His Family

Working fathers also need to take time off and relax, let the steam off every once in a while. They also require alone time, to be with themselves away from all the responsibility, not to feel free, but to be refreshed. It is doubtless that if a father is giving his family all he’s got, he’s doing it out of love for them. Otherwise, the contrary examples are also strewn everywhere. But we need to cut the guy some slack, let him be on his own so that he can rejuvenate himself to dive back into the pressures of the everyday life.

These are the super dads, the inspirational fathers who sacrifice all their lives so that their kids can have it good. What we can do is acknowledge their efforts, and let them know that we love them from our hearts; for all that they did for us and even the things they strove for and couldn’t do. Balancing home and work is not easy, and dads who make it possible need to take some time off so that they can continue their weighty task without bowing down under pressure. The world is heading towards a change, where everybody is working to create better ways to make life easier for both the parents, and to enable them to work together and provide the best care they possibly can. Co-exist and be a balanced person, good worker as well as a good parent.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.