work and family

Yep there’s no doubting the fact that women are taking on much more these days in an attempt to balance work and family. How many articles are out there lamenting how tough it is? But have we spared much of a thought for Dads who want to be dads?

I admit that as a woman I’ve found it hard to meet up to society, family and personal expectations when it comes to whether to work and raise a child at the same time. That said, my husband has faced a much greater challenge than I had foreseen. He wants to spend time with his daughter. Okay, doesn’t sound like much of a problem but it actually has been really difficult for us to work out just how that’s going to happen. It’s taken us 17 months of trailing various strategies and we’ve only just got there. Maybe.


Like most trade jobs out there my hubby’s work options are simple. Work a minimum 38 hour week with a heap of overtime expected on top of that. When our daughter was first born he had six weeks at home with us and then it was back to work. Leaving home at 5.00am and getting back home at 7.00pm. The only time he got to spend with her was in the middle of the night when she woke for a feed, and helping me to try and settle her in the evening, if she wasn’t already asleep. Many nights he would be in tears over the time he wasn’t getting to spend with his daughter, whom he’d quickly grown to love.

We tried a few ways to change things with work and finally came up with the solution of hubby doing shift work. He’s buggered for part of the week but he’s thrilled to be having almost half a day at home (when there’s not too much overtime anyway). At least he had that option after much digging around on the internet to find the work. Though this is purely personal experience it makes me wonder how it is that dads who want to be dads manage to get the time with their kids.


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