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14
Work-Family Balance
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14.1
What to Know
One of the issues that dads face in being the best dads they can be is balancing work and family. Indeed, a national survey of dads (called Pop’s Culture) found that work duties are the main issue dads face in being the best dads they can be.
You’ve likely received the message that today’s dads can and should be more than a financial provider. You’ve also likely received the message that dads must spend long hours at work to get ahead. These competing messages pull dads in two directions, which can cause a great deal of stress in trying to balance the demands of work and family. Many dads and employers think that when a dad balances work and family that he won’t be as productive or advance at work. The fact is dads who balance work and family are more productive at work than dads who don’t. And they advance faster and farther than dads who focus on work at the expense of their families.
They have the best of both worlds, success at work and at home. So they’re:
  • More likely to be focused when at work.
  • Less likely to suffer the stress that comes with long hours at work.
  • Less likely to call in sick just to spend time with their families or to recover from illness.
  • More committed to their employers overall.
If you struggle to balance work and family, it’s vital that you find ways to do so. These ways must fit with your situation. If you work two or three jobs to make ends meet, for example, then you can spend only so much time with your family. Still, there might be ways you can increase the time you spend with your family. The rest of the information in this topic will help you think of ways to balance work and family as best you can.
Why do dads who balance work and family succeed at work and at home? Part of the reason is they’re happier with their lives.
Balance might mean something different to you than to other dads. Tailor your approach to succeed for you, your family, and your employer(s). Just make sure you maintain your duties to family and work given your work situation. No matter your work situation, you should be able to start with only one or two actions that will help you better balance work and family. Take these steps:
What Else
14.2
#1
Think about one or two actions you will do.
#2
Write down the action(s). State how and when you will do the action(s). Include who needs to help you carry out the action(s), such as your boss or the mother of your children.
#3
Every month review the success of your action(s). If the action(s) involved anyone else, have them take part in the review. Ask why the action(s) worked or didn’t work. Decide whether to keep doing the action(s). If you decide to not do the action(s) any longer, replace the action(s) with another one. If you decide to keep doing the action(s), add a new action(s) that will help you further balance work and family.
14.3
What to Ask
Click to scroll through each of the questions below. Grab a paper and pen to write down your answers if you wish. Take your time.
Tap the arrows to scroll through the questions
Click the arrows to scroll through the questions
Do I fear that if I try to balance work and family, my employer won’t value me as much as they do now? Is this fear based in reality?
How much control do I have over my work schedule? Do I have enough control over it so that I can spend more time with my family?
Does my employer offer benefits that can help me balance work and family? Do I use them?
How can I work with my employer to balance work and family?
When I’m at home, do I spend as much time as I can with my family? What more can I do to spend more time with them?
Get Inspired
Watch this brief video from Josh Chiles.
14.4
Learn More
Tell Co-Workers about Your Family Commitment.
Make Your Boss Your Ally.
Stay Busy and Focused.
Be a Team Player.
Tap a point to learn more
Click a point to learn more
14.5
Use these tips to better balance work and family.
Be Choosy With Special Jobs.
Show Your Family Commitment.
Use Work Benefits that Help You Balance Work and Family.
Make Career Decisions as a Family.
Limit Work on Weekends, Vacations, and Holidays.
Be With Your Family Every Day.
Create “Family Prime Time”.
Place Your Commitment in Writing.
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Work-Family Balance