A Dad's Top 5 Tips on How to Survive Being a Working Dad

A Dad’s Top 5 Tips on How to Survive Being a Working Dad

A Dad’s Top 5 Tips on How to Survive Being a Working Dad
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As a stay-at-home mum coming from a corporate background, I am frequently faced with reminders throughout the day that I’ve, personally, done the right thing by choosing to stay at home and work around my kids. My husband has a great job and he can provide for the four of us (it does get a bit tight some months), so the choice as to who was going to stay at home and who would go to work was quite a straightforward one. But, I can’t help but think how difficult it must be for hubby in the long run. Not only does he have two jobs, but he has to flit back and forth, from dad to professional employee, and it can’t be easy when he has two children hanging off his suit before he’s even had the chance to eat breakfast.

As a point to note, I know there are tons of different ways families bring up their kids nowadays, but, in this post, I’m talking about my hubby/the two boys’ dad, who goes to work every day to bring the bread back, so we have food to put in our mouths. I had a lengthy conversation with my better half last night and it turns out that there are heaps of things that I didn’t even think about that you troopers have to deal with every day. Hubby came out with some gold star pointers on how he functions as a worker by day and a father at night. And, as with many other things in life, it isn’t so black and white.

1. Prepare for work the night before and the morning will be less tedious all round

We’re pretty much winging it in the mornings, getting the kids ready for nursery/playgroup, so when hubby is rushing around trying to get his stuff together, the kids have ‘play with daddy’ in mind. Sometimes, it’s the only daddy-time they get that day, so it’s natural they want to get as much of him as possible before he leaves in the morning (around 7.30am). But, this causes a problem for hubby when he has to prepare for the long and arduous work day ahead. Hubby prepares for work the night before, so he’s not rushing around in the morning and packs the lunchbox (I normally help with this). He gathers all the bits and bobs the night before, so that he can literally pick everything up and leave. That way, dad gets maximum time with his kids in the morning, with minimised stress and rushing around.

2. Spend some time with the other half – and rest!

I don’t know about you, but when hubby gets home around 7.30pm, the kids are just about nodding off to sleep. There will be times when the dishwasher hasn’t been done or the floor still has food on it. I normally aim to tackle all of those things when the kids are finally asleep, but hubby takes it upon himself to clean up anything that I haven’t managed to do. It can sometimes be a small task, but the effect it has on me is astounding. With hubby’s help, we’re done and on the couch by 8.30/9pm, so we can spend some quality time together. Even if we don’t end up spending time with each other, hubby ensures his mind gets some rest, by chilling out, watching some TV, or playing FIFA on the Xbox on some nights!

3. Dress smart and sharp – daddy is a representative of his family

I didn’t even realise I was quite so traditional, but I believe that hubby is a representative of our family – we do carry his last name after all. And, when daddy comes along to nursery activities where he gets to meet the teachers, I know those teachers are making snap judgements on our family. Hubby always dresses smart and people do treat him in a respectful and professional way. Of course, he’s not always donning a suit and tie everywhere he goes, but he will still try to look smart by wearing smart mens’ jumpers and jeans. Wool Overs offer some fantastic mens jumpers on sale at the moment, which are super smart and office-worthy. Hubby wears them a lot and I think he looks rather dapper in them.

The children follow our example, so if we dress and act smart, they will likely end up doing the same.

4. Leave work at work

So much easier said than done, I know, but if hubby has had a bad day at work, the vibe is overwhelming when he (unintentionally) brings that stress home. So, he tries to sort the issue out away from home, at least, when the kids are up. If they’re asleep, then venting and talking to me about any issues he had at work can be therapeutic for him.

Kids don’t need to feel the stress and anger in daddy’s voice, especially if he’s snapping at them about something totally unrelated to their behaviour. It’s just not fair and it doesn’t do anyone any good. Leave work at the front door and pick it up again the next morning.

5. Be proud of being a daddy and doing so much for the family

Having said all of the above, a clear message must be communicated back to hubby.

Daddy, you are amazing! You do so much for us and we are so grateful for all the hard work you put in, providing a stable environment and preparing our children for the journey of the world that lies before them. Just being there for the family, however big or small, creates a massive impact in our lives. We note how hard it is for you to carry the weight of the financial world on your shoulders and, even if we don’t show it more times than we should, we appreciate your help and support. We are a team and if we both do our bit, we can get on and tackle parenting our kids in this tough world together.

Amen for the hard working dads out there. Who’s with me?

Free infographic!

Dads, print this infographic out and stick it somewhere where you can remind yourself how awesome you are!

Top 5 tips on how to survive being a working dad - infographic - motherhooddiaries

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Leyla Preston (525 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/