Being a working dad
A little something I wrote for the esteemed Tesco Magazine on being a working dad.
Whoever says Sunday is a day of rest has never been a parent. The official day of rest for working parents is Monday. In the office, my work colleagues don’t demand to be read stories or chased, or ask me to draw pictures of cats. And not even demanding TV presenters writhe around on the floor screaming.
I believe that looking after kids full time is way harder than any day job. That’s why for centuries men have chosen not to do it – they worked out that hunting animals or going down the pits or even going to war was preferable.
I come from a long line of working dads. My own dad chose to work as many hours as he could to earn money to buy me the things he never had as a kid. But although I got what I wanted, I didn’t get what I needed – his time. When my dad was around he was often tired and irritable. I didn’t want to make that mistake.
So with my wife and I both working, we decided to form a tag team. One morning I get Maia ready and then my wife takes her to the nursery. Then the next day we swap. It is like a military operation, but we get the job done together. As a bonus, I’ve found being a dad has made me more disciplined at work. I pack more in to my working day so I’m home in time to read to Maia and put her to bed at least three evenings a week.
There’s nothing more beautiful than coming home and hearing “Daddy, Daddy!” and the sound of little feet as Maia rushes to greet me. Our father/daughter relationship comes down to quality versus quantity. I might spend fewer hours with Maia, but because they’re limited, I treasure them more and she gets to see my best side. And while I salute the dads who’ve chosen to stay at home, I know it’s not right for my family. Being a working dad is what works best for all of us.