Honesty is key to being a satisfied working dad

Ian Dinwiddy, founder and director of Inspiring Dads, writes about why working dads have to be honest with themselves and their families to achieve their goals. And how he can help



“If there’s one thing I wish we’d done better, it would have been to have those really honest discussions – rather than the more off-hand comments and observations – about the work life balance for both of us, including as a couple and as parents.  But hey – we live and learn, eh?!”

So said my friend ‘Toby’ reflecting on his marriage breakup.

Wishing you did something different or wishing life could be different is a common theme among men I work with.

So too is the idea that you’re the only one who feels this way. The only one who feels the pressure of balancing their family, relationship and work priorities. All the while your mental health and sense of identity are being eroded.

If you have a nagging feeling that life should be different, it’s definitely time to take back ownership of your own life. To get truthful about what is important to you and use that as a springboard to tell others. Starting with your partner.

To avoid rock bottom.

Truthful with yourself

It’s not an easy process. It starts with being truthful with yourself and that in itself can be hard. But put it off and you rapidly lose control of your circumstances. As Hunter S. Thompson wrote many years ago “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.”

I know, as men, we generally prefer to solve our own problems, while attributes such as mental toughness, stoicism and being ‘the rock’ for your family all combine to create a vibe that is distinctly in favour of doing it yourself.

But the benefits of collaboration in life are all around us. While there will always be people who eulogise the benefits of going it alone, the truth is that “no man is an island” is never more true than when you become a dad.

If you want run faster or get more stacked, you get a training buddy. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you’re serious.

So, if you’re serious about balancing your family, relationship and work priorities, without sacrificing your mental health or losing your sense of identity, then read on because I’ve got something for you…

Five day challenge

I just happen to run a FREE 5 Day Challenge for working dads and the next one starts on Monday 4th November. Effectively it’s a 5-day free trial with the option at the end to work more closely with a new training buddy.

What does it involve?

A daily activity to complete at your own pace. You get accompanying video to guide you, a Facebook forum to discuss progress and daily video call with the option to get one-to-one support.

You start with evaluating your life, move into getting honest with yourself and then sharing your goals with your partner, reviewing some key financial information before we look at work life balance options and top dad tips.

Truth be told you don’t even have to speak to anyone, just download the material and crack on, but the more you engage the better your results.

As Gareth explains, “The activities were simple yet impactful. A number of things have fallen into place since doing them, for example there is nothing that I want to do, or have, that is financially unachievable or disruptive to my family. “

A simple commitment

In a world where three in four dads feel stress trying to juggle work and family life getting a bit of extra help and focus could be the difference between your marriage surviving or not.

As one man who tried the Five Day Challenge explained, “I’m a dad whose life is a little out of kilter at the moment and this was a simple commitment to make in a whole world of scary.”

Forging your own path can provide enormous benefits but you should always ask yourself “Is it right and fair to those around me to pursue this goal?”

And if you don’t know if you’re on the same page as your partner I really recommend you find out sooner rather than later.

Because your kids are only young once.


Ian Dinwiddy is founder and director of Inspiring Dads – a coaching business specialising in supporting men with their work life balance. To find out more about his Free Five Day Challenge click here.

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