Three Dads, Three Work-Life Balance Stories

Believe it or not, I’m not the only one writing about fathers’ work-family concerns. Today, I’d like to share three really smart and well-written first-person accounts of work-family struggles by some of my fellow dad bloggers. Enjoy

I'm sharing some other dad's work-family stories today. I'll be back next week with news about/links to my recent media appearances.
Today, I’m sharing three work-family stories from some of my favorite writers. I’ll be back next week with news about/links to my recent media appearances.

“The Third Row” by Larry Bernstein, “Daddy Lives Work” by Aaron Yavelberg, and “Dads Don’t Want to Leave Home Either” by Alan Kerchinik. See below:

The Third Row

It was one o’clock in the afternoon during the middle of the week. I was not giving writing instruction, engaging in literary discussion, overseeing group work, or even watching the clock anxious for an unruly class to be dismissed.

Instead, I sat in the third row and watched a performance. While, it was not quite Broadway, I was mesmerized throughout the entire twenty minute production. I did not check my cell phone, consider grading papers, or mentally review a piece I am writing.

It was SJ’s kindergarten graduation

First, here’s a touching story about a dad struggling with the competing demands of career and family- and, upon reflecting on his son’s kindergarten graduation, why he was happy with his decision to largely prioritize family life over career ambition. It was written by Larry Bernstein of the blog Me, Myself and Kids.

“Daddy Lives Work”

You ask/tell me most mornings, “Daddy no go work,” and it breaks my heart every time when I tell you, “Yes, Daddy has to go to work today.” Sometimes you persist and say, “No! Daddy no go work!” Usually I can console you by distracting you and reminding you that you’re going to school that morning or that you’re going to see people during the day or that I’m going to see you later. But you still ask for your “one more kiss” every day and you and Mommy call me while I’m leaving the building and we blow kisses to each other while you’re looking down from the window. It makes me miss you, even though I can still see you, but I love it.

Second, a similar struggle from a dad who reflects on his work-family balance after his young son says that “Daddy Lives Work.” It was written by Aaron Yavelberg of Sleeping on the Edge, and he tries to explain to his young son why he has to spend so much time at work, with a note of hope for change going forward.

Dads Don’t Want to Leave Home Either

I was IM’ing with a friend of mine a week ago. He’s a relatively new dad who travels a lot for his job, and he mentioned that it was hard for him to leave the house now that his baby is getting old enough to do more than give him the stink-eye. As we went back and forth, it struck me how infrequently men seem to have this conversation

Finally, Alan Kerchinic of Always Jacked and Families in the Loop wrote this excellent piece about how it is not just working moms, but also working dads who are torn about sacrificing family time for work.

I encourage you to read these excellent pieces in full, and follow these really smart and touching writers.

What do you think of these stories? have any to share? Let’s discuss in the comments section.

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5 thoughts on “Three Dads, Three Work-Life Balance Stories

  1. These fine pieces bring back lots of memories of being both a parent and then a grandparent. I remember getting choked up dropping my first born daughter off at a home care. Broke my hear leaving her.
    I remember taking my two year old grandson to daycare—his first, and one that gradually just wasn’t a good fit for him. On the way there he was sort of snuffling, and then he said, “I want to go to Grampa’s daycare.” Eventually, my daughter pulled him and he did indeed come to Grandpa’s daycare where Randy Bachman’s,“Takin’ Care of Business,” became our theme song when he was getting toilet trained and where, for his afternoon nap, when he heard the (Grampa’s) train whistle, we raced to catch the “1:10” (or 1:20) train, up the stairs, where he crawled into Berth A and I in Berth B! Sometimes I dozed—hey, I deserved it—and sometimes I didn’t.
    Lots of memories, many of which I’d missed, with my own kids.
    No one can ever take the experiences or memories away from you.

  2. One of my first posts was about working through fatherhood, but being such a wannabe stay-at-home-dad. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to pull it off. There is not only a lot of pressure on dads, but what I see as a very uncaring attitude in the corporate world toward family relationships. Too often, work is assumed by managemetn to take precedence or you lose out on career advancement opportunities by choosing family.

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