4 Work-Family Stories From Fellow Dads

While Nick and I enjoy this summer day, four great writers discuss their work-family challenges.
While Nick and I enjoy this summer day, four great writers discuss their work-family challenges.

My favorite part of writing The Working Dad’s Survival Guide was speaking with a wide variety of dads about their lives, and then sharing their work-family stories.

Today, I’d like to share some of the excellent work of my fellow dad bloggers who recently wrote about how work-family balance plays out in their lives. These writers demonstrate that we all share the challenge of career success and involved fatherhood. Enjoy this round-up:

Even Dreamers Have Responsibilities by Larry D. Bernstein of Me, Myself and Kids

Larry recently quit his stable job to pursue his dream to be a full-time writer. But when you are a husband and father, chasing a dream also comes with complications- how do you continue to uphold your responsibility to provide for your family? Larry writes beautifully and honestly about his situation. He’s a brave man and a good dad, and his entire piece is worth a read.

I gave up a job that was secure, paid decently, and had good benefits. I also was pretty good at it and liked it somewhat.

I gave up the job to chase a dream. I gave up the job because I wanted to do something I’ve always wanted to do.  I gave up the job because I wanted more for myself.

Was it responsible of me? Is this what a parent should do?  Will I be able to provide?

… I’m not sure. Nothing is assured. Yes, I have a strategy. Yes, I’m working hard. Yes, I believe it can happen. While I’m not predicting doom and gloom, I’m talking reality. Even dreamers live in this world. Dreamers have expenses. And this dreamer has children… And I will put my head down and succeed in some form or some way. I owe it to my children. It’s my responsibility.

Dads Who Work Hug Hard by Joseph Albert Mastropiero of Just Another Dad

Joseph and his wife both work, and, in this touching piece, Joe regrets not being there every day with his young son. But he loves his day home from work each week:

Thursdays are the best. That’s my day with him. It’s just me and the little man and we have the whole day to ourselves. I don’t think about life outside the two of us. We can be silly and play games, run around the house (and soon, outside the house once it gets a little warmer) doing whatever comes to mind. Hey, you want to jump up and down on me like in Hop On Pop? sure! you want to play some pots and pans music? You got it, buddy! You want to re-program the TV? Maybe you should give Daddy the remote….I am at his beck and call, I let him lead, and I follow. Every week is a new adventure, when a 16 month old is at the helm.

Get Back to Work: The Paternity Leave Dilemma by Sean Singleton of the PopLyfe Shop Blog

Sean discusses how even dads who take paternity leave feel pressure from work – and from themselves- to get back to work as quickly as possible. He thoughtfully concludes:

For those of us who relish every moment we get to spend with our children, it’s a disappointing reality that whether because they choose to or because they are forced to, many men will miss out on some of the most precious weeks of our child’s life.

Charlie Capen of How to Be A Dad wrote this excellent Buzzfeed piece, Working Dads Have Regrets Too.

Charlie is an involved dad who has grappled with his choices, and, in this article, he laments that dads are often excluded from work-family conversations, despite the fact that so many dads are working hard to balance work and family.

We live in a world that asks us to choose between resources and time. Men are not exempt. My son has made me feel like a superhero and yet more vulnerable than ever. He has given me reason to work harder on myself and the world around me, while he’s opened a gaping wound whenever I’m not around him.

The stories of dads balancing work and family still aren’t told nearly as much as moms’ are, but our voices are gaining volume every day.

(Incidentally, Charlie’s got great taste in books!)

What do you think of these dads and their stories? Have any of your own to share? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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