Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WANTED: Working Dads Seeking More Family/Work Balance

As you may have read from a previous post on Daddy Wars, I believe the sparks of battle are beginning between working dads who want more family/work balance and management. As such, I'm putting on my war correspondent cap and am seeking any working dads who fit this. If you are such a dad or know such a dad, let me know. Likewise, if you are in a position of authority in your company and want to share your point of view, the Evolution of Dad is equally open and welcoming. Let's get this story right! Feel free to write me at: dana@evolutionofdad.com

Thanks!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dana,

Thanks for your note to MomsRising -- I couldn't agree more. To make the workplace family-friendly (not to mention our lives more family-friendly) we need moms and dads. In my field, the folks who I commissertate most with about juggling work & family are the working dad-professors.

Thanks for your work and your insight.

J. Hill Fletcher
Associate Professor of Theology

Dan said...

I don't know if I'm what you are looking for/talking about but I'm a working dad who is stuggling to persuade his employers to let him go part time in order that I can spend more time with my family.

I'm probably unusual in that I already only work 4 dyas (but full time hours), shift work (I'm a nurse), and live in england (well, that's not very unusual, a lot of people live in England but you know what I mean).

If this comment isn't relevant just ignore me.

Dana said...

Hi Dan-

Of course your comment is relevant! Thanks for sharing and good luck to you over there.

Dana

BH said...

Hello,

I'm a working Dad. I used to be the guy who worked all the time and you could always count on me to pick up the slack for the team, but now I make sure the team picks up the slack.

I work mostly 40 hour weeks, with one 50 hour week per month, when issues arise. But, my hours are very odd and I work a lot from home ( 2-3, sometimes more days per week ). The only days I work 8 hours straight are the days I go into work. The days I am home I work usually on three "shifts" to make up the 8+ hours. Unless something very urgent comes up.

It's been my experience that the company is not so much for/against schedule flexibility for working Dads/Moms, as it is your direct supervisor. If your supervisor is willing to work with you, then it can be done, if not, it doesn't matter the company's policies, because your supervisor can make your work life a living hell.

I've had three supervisors since I started working from home, two have been very supportive, one let me do it, but didn't give me as good of raises ( even though I was doing all of the same stuff ), because they did not like the fact that I worked from home. That one actually told me I could not be a good Father and employee, I had to choose one...that's when I changed jobs. :)

It can be difficult though, because you always worry about what your boss and coworkers think and you don't want to draw too much attention to yourself.

Coworkers will always make comments, some joking, some jealous. I'm surprised that more people I work with don't take advantage and work from home, especially the ones that have to drive a significant distance to work every day. But, I've heard from a number of them, that they would have difficulty being disciplined enough to actually work and not watch TV or work on something around the house. Personally, I get more done at home, it seems counter-intuitive, but my coworkers get into discussions with me about non-work related issues more often than my kids bug me at home!

In my opinion, I think a lot of people ( Moms and Dads alike ) I work with enjoy going to work, not so much because of the work, but to get away from the responsibility of the kids and family for a while. I know there are a lot of Moms and Dads out there that don't have the opportunity to work from home as well.

I recently gave up a job offer that would have put me working on cutting edge consumer electronics products and a 10% pay increase, plus all the paid overtime I wanted, just to keep my flexible schedule. They didn't want me to work from home and said there would most-likely be a minimum of 10 hours per week ( paid ) overtime. It was a difficult choice, because the work would have been much more interesting and fun than what I do now and the pay more. But, I just don't want to wake up 10 years from now and think "I should have stayed home with the kids more".

I wish I could be the one to stay home with them 100% of the time...

sam said...

Hi, Dana! Love your attention to this subject and looking forward to more film!

I am a part-time stay at home dad and part-time pastor. In 2003, when our first child, Will, was born I decided to take a paternity leave of 8 weeks. According our our national church polity, I could take a paid leave of up to eight weeks. Being a dad who had never spent much time around children, these weeks were simply some of the most important weeks of my life learning the ins and outs of caring for my infant son and bonding with him.

The congregation, however, felt very differently. Most of the members were outraged that I would do such an awful thing as abandon them for eight whole weeks! Even my district superintendent (quasi-boss) was soft on the whole idea. I had to work hard after I returned to work to earn their trust again and stay for a couple more years.

I found out shortly after the leave that I was the first pastor in our Annual conference (Alabama - West Florida) to have request paternity leave. Thank heavens, I am not the last! Several others have taken leave since mine.

Now that I am the primary parent at home, I am grateful for supportive blogs such as yours!

The Rev. Sam Persons Parkes
Andalusia, AL

Dana said...

Hi Sam-

Thanks so much for sharing what's gone on with you and your experience with paternity leave. I have yet to hear a Pastor's perspective on this, which makes it very refreshing to hear about. I can only imagine how demanding it must be to be a spiritual leader and the difficulty of your taking some time to care for your child. If you are interested, it would be great to talk further about your experience. Thanks for your time.

Dana Glazer
dana@evolutionofdad.com

Dana said...

Hi BH-

I really appreciate your perspective on balancing work and family. It's not easy and you are very correct that without a supportive supervisor, things can be quite difficult. Kudos to you for the choices you have made. No doubt in 10 years you will be even more grateful for making them. Keep up the good fight. It's worth it!

Best,

Dana