Recently, we had the privilege of being featured on Mother and Baby. Having been invited to write regularly for them, it has been really fun to talk about our Parenting Woes and share about the “Growing Pains” of Parenthood. As we end the year with the December Issue of Mother and Baby, we discussed the issue of Work-life balance, and how Daddies can play a role in the family, despite our busy schedule.
For those of you, who did not manage to get a copy of or article, here is the unedited version:
Getting your Parenting Priorities Right!
“Busy, Busy, Busy!” That’s a Dad’s instant response when the kids call when we are at work.
The workload in office is just so much that many times, fathers miss Junior’s soccer game or other performances in school. In an Asian society, where men are expected to bring home the bacon, many fathers struggle to maintain a healthy work life balance.
The good news is that fathers today, do try to spend more time with their loved ones. Fathers have a changed paradigm, and they realize that they have a key role to play in a family. Although some dads may be struggling to live up to this responsibility, the realization of this key ingredient is a significant breakthrough for the modern family
As a father, I always love to spend time with the kids. Although we do not live in a perfect world, which allows me to spend most of the day with the kids, I think I have managed to bring some form of sanity to my family and work life balance. Here are some important factors that have helped me to maintain this delicate balance.
- Get your priorities right
Your Boss and your office will constantly be giving you new assignments and new responsibilities. New opportunities may mean more time overseas and less time with the family. Keeping your family as a top priority means something must give. In the face of mounting pressure, what will we choose?
- Flexible Employers
I am truly happy with my company. At times when the kids fall sick or when there is an emergency at school, my bosses have always offered me the flexibility to take time off to work to attend to the family. My wife is a full time working mother and the flexibility in both our working schedules is a true blessing, and it has also given us the space to breathe as a family.
- Work as a team
Communication with your spouse is a key ingredient in maintaining happy work life balance. Most Singaporean families have working mums and dads. To keep the family in balance, both spouses have to discuss issues and be willing play a significant role in the parenting process. Both parties must be willing to come home early, to tutor the kids or to change the diapers.
- Enlist Help
To get the family unit to help, enlist the help of grandparents, a nanny, day care centres or a domestic helper. With both partners having a 40 hour work week, it is practically impossible to be “everywhere” for the kids. It takes a village to raise a child, and everybody needs to pitch in. The extra income from an additional salary has to be effectively maximized, in order to help maintain the delicate family balance.
The case for balance is clear. When fathers play an active role in parenting, children grow up more confident and more self-assured. Couples who work through the issues of breadwinning and domestic work will eventually build a dynamic team. Then, issues such as divorce will be reduced significantly. Fathers can play an encompassing role in a family, but one must make the right sacrifices to see the lasting effects.
Lastly, Many thanks to our friends, who contributed their Parenting Quotes to the article! Big Thank you to the families of Shao Qing, Nick, Renee, Veron and Joyce, for providing the helpful quotes, to make the article possible! 🙂