Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tips for Fathers: How do I balance work and family life?


Yesterday, I was reading in Strengthening Our Families and I happened upon a wonderful list of ideas for fathers. As I am a father and frequently find myself fighting for balance in my life between work, school, and family life, I thought I would share some of the ideas from this book. By the way, I highly, highly recommend this book for any family! Some of these ideas could apply to working mothers as well.

It states: "Here are some ideas for fathers to think about as they strive to fulfill their joint duties to provide for their families and spend time with them....This is a set of ideas, not a checklist; not every idea is applicable to every father."

Be careful in selecting a vocation that fits with the needs of family life:
  • Choose a vocation that energizes you and makes you excited about life.
  • Be a good employee; it leads to much more flexible work opportunities in the long run.
  • Choose a job that leaves you with enough time and energy for family life.
  • Avoid vocations that require a lot of travel.
Allow your family to "be there" while you are in the workplace:
  • Display a recent family picture prominently where you labor.
  • Call home at lunch or during breaks just to say "I love you."
  • Encourage your children to call you at work to talk about their school day.
  • Bring your children to work on occasion to let them see firsthand what you do all day.
Use your commute time for personal and family development:
  • Bring a tape recorder and record stories about your youth for your children.
  • Sing or pray out loud to invite the Spirit into your car, especially on the way home as you prepare to be with family members.
Create family time by using flexible work options:
  • Use flextime to create morning time for devotional, prayer, and breakfast with the family.
  • Use parental leave to create quantity and quality time when new babies come.
  • Come to work early; then volunteer at your child's school once a month in the afternoon.
When you come home from work, really come home from work:
  • Don't bring work pressures and frustrations into the sacred confines of your home.
  • Listen to some classical or sacred music during the ride home.
  • Mentally prepare yourself to walk through the door and be available for family members.
What items stick out most to you on these lists?

Personally, one of the most important things that I have found in my own life is not bringing work or school stress home to my family.

What are some ways that you leave your work or school stress behind you when you come home?

Do you have other ideas that aren't listed here?

**Adapted from: p. 68, Strengthening Our Families: An In-Depth Look at the Proclamation on the Family

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