This September has had lots of school holidays for my son- Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur- leaving our carefully prepared family schedule in shambles. Here are some ideas how we can adjust when school’s out.
Like most working parents, my wife and I have come to rely upon our son’s school as an important cog in the machinery that keeps our work-family juggle humming along.
Over the past few weeks, articles have appeared in major mainstream media outlets reporting and commenting on work-family issues for dads. For someone who has been a fathers, work and family advocate for a long time, I couldn’t be happier. Here’s a sampling of recent articles, and my commentary on this trend.
While there is a danger that men, work and family will be reported on only as a short-term novelty, I am highly encouraged by all this media attention. I have always maintained that when more attention is paid to men’s work-family issues:
Men who struggle with these issues may realize they are not alone
Supervisors and business leaders may realize this is a serious business issue that requires some thought and attention
These issues become more normal and acceptable to talk about at home and in society- and most importantly- in workplaces across the country
The business case for considering men in work-family conversations and solutions becomes more evident
About two months ago, I wrote about my wife’s new show, and how her work hours would spike for several weeks. I discussed our family’s plan for handling this time period, considering my work commitments and increased duties at home. The show is over, so now it’s time to see how we did, and what lessons we learned.
(On Monday, I’ll be commenting on this week’s Pew Study’s findings on breadwinning moms and dual-career couples- SB)
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that my incredible wife Amy is a musical theater actress, and, depending on the project, her work schedule is often demanding, haphazard, inconvenient and inflexible.
About two months ago, Amy began work on an excellent new play, “The English Bride”. The play was very well-received (see this review!), so much so that it will run at the 59 E59 Theater off-Broadway, NYC in the Fall.
It begins with dinner, moves to bath and jammy time, eases into books and stories, then ends with hugs and kisses. Simple, yes?
I’ve seen cowboys break a mustang before and THAT looked easier than building our homestead customs. People, our children have let us know that they need routine, stability, and for heaven’s sake, DON’T forget that story! It runs like clockwork and I say again, one tilt in the balance of our family ecosystem and we’re either up throughout the night with little ones, or it all ends in tears.
So when I announce that there’s a trip of any significant length coming up, the groans begin. First, The Wife expresses her reservations, then her fears, then her acceptance. Once the kids get wind of it, there’s even more complaint, but in the form of a sweet siren’s song of “daddy, don’t go.” Heart strings are pulled, emotions run high, and I begin to wonder if I might be able to support my family as a man of leisure. You know, a man’s man, or man about town. No? Bah,…worth a try. It still begs the question: How does our family get by when daddy has to travel?
Amy is a musical theater actress, and her work schedule is demanding, haphazard, inconvenient and inflexible (but, even in her brutally competitive field, she is talented enough to be working all the time!). If she’s called for an audition, it is often scheduled for tomorrow! and it cannot be rescheduled to fit her preferences.