Each week DaddiLifeForce brings you dad-inspiration from right across the community. This week, it’s time to pass the power to the people! Our daddilifeforce is being guest edited by none other than Dermot Latimer – a dad who runs MyIconicMedia, alongside the rather wonderful Alexander J Latimer profile, and is striving for better work/life balance. Over to you Dermot.
“Isn’t it funny what we prioritise when we first discover that we’re about to become a father?”
The sheer volume of thoughts that flooded my mind when I first gazed upon that pregnancy test was nothing short of a tsunami. Are we actually ready to be parents? Can we afford all the expense that will inevitably follow? Will I be a good father? Will I be able to teach this baby to be a good person? Will the baby be healthy? Will I ever sleep again?
The one question that never even entered my head when I considered the thousands of others, was ‘how will work effect my life as a dad?’ Of all the research I did on everything from sleep patterns to the good and evil of pacifiers; the question of how I might be able to reorganise my professional life to spend time with my son didn’t even occur to me…..until 24 hours after he was born.
Having to return to work when you’ve just had your first child is the largest dose of reality you can ever expect to experience. It forced me to realise quickly that I needed to make changes to what I prioritised in my life – because my son needed time with his dad, and dad needed time with him.
It was this realisation that allowed me to find some great communities of dads (just like @daddilife), who are all sharing the same scary, but amazing and awe-inspiring journey. And it is in communities like these that I see all those dads making similar changes to those that I have made (and inspiring me to make changes I hadn’t thought of!).
Finding balance between work and home life is difficult, but here’s how other dad’s are finding their own ways to provide better work/life balance as fathers:
Put the phone away – straightaway, by Colin Bentley
Colin, a dad in the daddilifeforce community, has a great insight of creating a habit of just turning his phone straight off as soon as he walks in the door for the first couple of hours. In his own words:
“Phone in an out of sight place on silent as soon as I get home, dinner at the table with only music on in the background and no external distractions until the kids are in bed. That way I get 2hrs quality time with the kids every night – non negotiable.”
Create a ‘dad-date,’ by Mark King
Mark (also from the daddilifeforce community), also encourages dad’s to take some specific days off just to spend time with the children, especially if time isn’t as flexible. Think of this as your ‘dad-date!’ Again, in his own words:
“Probably best to spend as much time on your days off with the kids, as I know sometimes I could go 3-4 days of seeing them for 10-15 minutes at best when working A&E on 14 hour shifts; now isn’t so bad with a different job. We’ll go out on a day regardless of the weather (waterproofs/raincovers/picnic, etc.)”
A non-negotiable time to leave, by me!
Leaving the office at 5pm has become #nonnegotiable for me since @alexander_j_latimer made an appearance! Those two hours before #bedtime is precious #daddytime! . . . . . . . . . . . . #daddilife #myboy #myson #dadsofinstagram #dadshome #raddad #worklifebalance #worklife #officehours #dadscominghome #somethingsaremoreimportant
Bedtime for Alex is 7pm so leave the office every day at 5pm without fail. The time between 5 and 7 is precious daddy time for me. We play, we snuggle, we giggle, we bath, and we play horsey. Ultimately, we bond. Coming home to his smiling face is just as heart warming as waking up to it.
Do you have dad-perspective to share?
Tag us into your dad moves for us to feature. If you’re interested in finding out more about our Guest Editor opportunities just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep those dad-moments strong.