We’re all about female empowerment here at Ride the Sail Marketing. The truth is, though, we know the power of all people coming together to support one another. As a working mom, I believe that support must include all of the father and father-like figures out there hustling to keep things running smoothly at home and in the workplace.
The idea of balancing parenting and work has been recognized as a mainly-female issue for far too long. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found about four in ten working fathers say they’ve needed to reduce their work hours (44%) or that they couldn’t give 100% at work (43%). Another 15% have turned down a promotion because they were balancing work and parenting responsibilities.
In honor of all the hard-working, hard-loving dads out there, we see you and want to honor you this Father’s Day. Since none of us can claim the Dad title, we reached out to the experts for advice on maintaining your status as employee and Dad of the Year.
Here’s what they had to say about being working dads:
1. Get your priorities straight
I make sure my amazing daughter always knows she comes first. No questions asked, no matter what.
At the same time, one of my greatest triumphs was having my daughter present when I was given the Diversity Champion of the year award by my industry association. It’s an extraordinarily proud moment to be able to show her that I am committed to not just business success, but the right kind of business success.
It’s important to remember — you’ll never regret the money you didn’t make, but you will regret the time you lost.
Brian Haney, Founder, Vice President at The Haney Company
2. Set your boundaries
I like being a positive role model for my kid. He’s seen his dad go from nothing, practically, to owning his own business. It’s been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I hope it inspires him to go after his own dreams with a lot of hard work and perseverance.
Right now, though, especially as a dad working from home, it’s challenging that my son often doesn’t understand why Dad is home but unable to pay as much attention to him. I try instead to make sure we’re spending the weekends together and stealing time where we can. My own dad was always working, so it’s important for me to have a better relationship with my son, rather than just being the absent provider.
Throughout all of this, I’ve had to learn when to say, “enough is enough.” If your job is demanding, you could miss every moment of your child’s upbringing, and it’s not worth it. You only get one shot at helping them grow up. If your job is accommodating, you still need to know when to set the phone aside and focus on your family.
Dan Bailey, President at WikiLawn
3. Remember every day won’t be easy — and that’s OK
Twenty-four hours just isn’t enough time in a day. No matter where I focus my time, I find I just don’t have enough of it. Still, I manage to get it done somehow, and that’s my greatest feat as a working dad.
It’s tough, and some days are easier than others — but at the end of the day, we still manage to keep everything going. That’s a victory that I’m thrilled about every single day.
I once received advice to keep in mind: that many guys tremendously less qualified than me have managed to get through the craziness of being a dad just fine. Every time things get crazy, I try to go back and reflect on that. Not every day is going to be easy, but I’m a good guy who works hard for his family. Knowing that fact makes it easier to push through on those tougher days.
Matt Seltzer, Market Research and Strategy Consultant at S2Research
4. Work to live, don’t live to work
It’s frustrating that to be there for my kids, I end up working after they go to bed and wearing myself out.
However, I work to live, I don’t live to work. I hustle hard for my clients, but when I’m with my kids, the phone is down and my attention is on them. The most critical thing to me is that they are more important to me than all the money in the world.
Really, at the end of your life, are you going to regret not spending more time at
the office or with your kids? Prioritize what’s important, not just in your career but for your family.