As fathers, we have many responsibilities concerning our children. These duties are constantly strained by our need to provide for our family. Unfortunately, on too many occasions we tip the scale to favor work rather than our fatherly duties.
Hard hitting, heavy duty blue collar workers come home at the end of their days in complete exhaustion. Their bodies that were pumped with adrenalin and testosterone are now crashing, and this result leaves a blob of man in front of the TV. A condition that is not at first glance conducive of child rearing and fun. For those who fit into the white collar job description like office dwellers and computer wizards, red eyes and a headache usually follow them home. Yes, they may not have lifted an iron beam or paved a street, but if their brain had biceps they would be throbbing with pain. Even a child’s laughter can be a deterrent of important responsibilities when returning home from an office job.
First of all, to help balance work with fatherhood duties we must remember, however difficult it is, that raising children is a LABOR of love. It does not have to be a tedious, painful experience, but it will take a lot of effort. To start off, make an attempt to greet your child with a smile and a hug when returning from work. Share some of your work day experience (where appropriate) with your sibling, maybe over dinner. Or if you are accustom to eating out when returning home, make a special stop to pick up a child from home for your outing. Another good idea is to help you little one with homework for half an hour before bed. Whatever you do, try to get at least an hour of your work day in with your siblings. They need to see that you have not forgotten them, and that you love them.
Weekends are a great opportunity to catch up on those “lost hours” with the children. Try to spend a portion of your weekend with the kids whether at the park, playing board games, or just wrestling. Once a month, when finances allow, take the family out for a good outing intended strictly for the children. For younger ones, this may be a lunch at Chucky Cheese. For older ones, a baseball game or movie may be more in line.
Taking advantage of these opportunities will more than likely improve your attitude at work and thus be beneficial all around. Extra time spent with your children by following the tips above will help to balance work with your fatherhood duties.