My daughter’s mental health started to get worse about halfway through the first...read more
As we move from summer holidays to back to school it’s time for working dads to look at what works
At this stage in the summer we’re moving between two distinct phases for working dads.
The first is the summer holidays, when fathers who perhaps spend most of the year at work get their two weeks off with the family. A fortnight’s not long but it is long enough for families to really connect again and spend quality time together. And to be reminded that your offspring are more than works-in-progress that need fed, clothed and ferried from one activity to another – they are actually pretty cool to be around.
That experience might even get you thinking about rejigging your life so you can be around them a bit more.
That’s certainly true of my journey to part time working. The combination of a great summer holiday in Greece followed by too much time away from the family working on the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 led to something snapping. Negotiating with my then employers was not straightforward – too many of the bosses were entirely baffled by why a man would want to do more childcare – but the result was that I went part time. And there is not an iota of doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do.
How many more men might be thinking the same just now?
The second parental phase we’re heading into is back to school. A time that’s not always easy for pupils and when they need their parents support as they transition back to the discipline of school days. That’s multiplied if they are starting school, be that primary, secondary or because of a move for example. If dad can’t be at the school gate to see their son or daughter off both he and his child are missing out on a milestone. Even more important is to be there in the evening to check in with your kids and check school isn’t proving too stressful.
Switching to part-time or flexible working solves both problems, allowing dads to be around at this vital back to school stage when they are particularly needed and also letting them spend more time with the people that matter most going forward.
There’s advice, examples and crucially plenty of part-time and flexible roles on our website. It’s a good time to take a look around and let us inform any thoughts you might be having about reordering your work life balance.
And if you’ve got any questions we’ve got experts on hand to answer them. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and help you join the working dads revolution.