After having an in-depth discussion with some of my friends who were married couples, engaged, or just romantic relationship status, we were talking about how much a father figure role and its expectation has changed within this new generation. Fathers are more likely to be the stay-at-home parent while the significant other is out developing and growing their careers.
Fathers now are choosing to be more involved and engaged with the parenting aspect than ever before. From taking on tasks and roles such as taking care of the house chores while your significant other and child is resting, cooking and cleaning, taking over all of the child-caring duties (eg. Bathing, meal preps, learning activities, and even being the stay-at-home parent.
I am one of those very involved and engaged dads for my children. I am at the forefront of their learning activities, book reading, lessons from other instructors, and doctor appointments. I do also share the household chores with my wife to lessen the housework load on her.
Why Make Your Life So Much More Difficult?
It’s super easy to take the easy way out. Taking on more responsibilities isn’t something everyone wants to do or even is ready to do. When you look at your schedule and you barely see any time to give to yourself, heck in my Self-Care blog post that I published before, I talked about trying to eliminate as much extra work from your schedule as much as possible. You can read more about it here. So Henry, are you out of your mind to tell me that I should ignore what you said before and pick up more work for myself.
Definitely not, but it all comes down to your mindset. The mindset I had while deciding to be more involved was because I wanted to optimize the fixed amount of hours I had in a day and give it all to my wife and daughter. I chose to be involved with spending time with my daughter as my self-care time. I made an active decision to be in my daughter’s life as much as I possibly can. And because I made the decision myself, I don’t consider to be extra work and if I don’t think it’s extra work, I don’t get tired from it.
So my question to you is, what is making it difficult? Is it because you are tired after coming home from your day job? Is your day job THAT energy-draining that you have no energy left for your family? Or is it because your day job gives you so much stress and pressure that when you leave your workplace, your mind finally feels the relief from the stress and you relax?
Benefits Of Being An Actively Involved Dad
I get to see every single development that happens with my daughter. I’m proud to be the first to see my daughter do these things:
- To hear my daughter try to make a sound,
- To see her pull herself to stand up,
- To see her take her very first step,
- To be able to spend my evenings playing with her, reading with her.
I’m not sure about you, but if I was in your shoes, being told that these were the firsts that you could only have seen when you are actively being involved with your kids, I would have done it. And I’m glad I made that choice!
Another benefit of being an active, engaged, and involved parent means that you are always in the know. One of the stereotypes that fathers are portrayed as is being an incompetent or the “last to know” parent. And definitely, I and other millennial fathers are rejecting this idea and making a huge societal shift in the world.
One Big Challenge Of Being An Actively Involved Dad
By being actively involved with the parenting aspects of the family, there are a lot of challenges that you will encounter. One of the biggest challenges that I found that I really wanted to share with you was trying to find time for myself.
As an actively involved full-time working dad, I’m always in the forefront of my wife and daughter’s life, actively engaging with them and making them feel like I’m here with them as well while having to go to my regular 9-5 work during the weekdays. I do admit that it is definitely a juggle between these two things that take over most to all of my days, but it is always important to find or make time for yourself.
Like how I talk about self-care in one of my prior posts, what I consider as self-care is being able to do the things/hobbies that I love to do without compromising the time I spend with my family. That special family time comes first and above all else in my life. I do admit that my self-care scheduled times aren’t optimal in most people’s cases because they are either late into the night (after 11 PM) or very early in the morning (6-7 AM) while the rest of the family is sleeping. I value those self-care times immensely and there are times that I can even consider that those times are when I am super productive and creative!
I’m very sure there are other challenges that being an actively involved dad will face, share it in the comments section below and let’s talk aboit it.
In the early 2018s, I had a technical support position that I felt so mentally drained each and every workday, from the work environment, the management. the small business pressure, and just the tight-knit family culture it had. I would leave work every single day feeling super stressed or like I’m not worthy of this employment compared to the other employees. I felt terrible but also liberating at the end of each workday. But when I got home, I just felt so tired that I was making my family unhappy. They felt the stressed vibe that I was bringing home and they stayed far away from me. It was a terrible feeling to see that after a long day at work, I felt ignored by my family that I’m working so hard for. I knew I needed to change this stress somehow. So a long story short, I left that employment after 6 months, the day that I left the company, I felt like a heavy load just lifted off my chest, my family felt the same.
Fast forward a couple of months later, I found another technical support position for a SaaS (Software as a Service) company, higher pay, better benefits, better management, and now I found myself coming home each and every day happy and full of energy. The energy that I can use to spend for my wife, daughter, and myself.
So what’s your story? I would love to know, share it in the comments section.