Sayo Babatunde is the managing director of Ken Blu and has a five-year-old son. We asked him for some tips about how he juggles work and fatherhood.
“The age of remote work and digital conferencing has presented challenges for many professionals, but for working dads with children on the autism spectrum, the challenges can be particularly unique. I’m not just a digital marketing expert – I’m a father juggling the demands of a booming business while catering to the needs of a special child.
For those unacquainted with the nuances of autism, a child on the extreme end of the spectrum often finds it challenging to comprehend and engage in typical social dynamics. This means that during a Zoom call, while I’m immersed in discussions about digital strategies, algorithms, and client needs, Kaio might pop his head in, out of sheer curiosity or to be close to his dad.
Now, picture this: a high-stakes meeting with potential clients, where everyone’s focus is critical. Suddenly, there’s the delightful interruption of a five-year-old’s giggles or questions. It’s a scenario that would unnerve many, but I believe in transparency and I’ve found that most people are more understanding than one might expect.
This simple introduction does more than just set the stage. It humanises the virtual space, allowing clients to see a glimpse of the man behind the professional— a dedicated father who’s striving to strike a balance.
It’s heartening to see that in today’s fast-paced business environment, many still value the essence of humanity, family, and the unexpected moments that remind us of what’s truly important. However, this doesn’t negate the real difficulties of the situation. The unpredictability can be stressful. There’s the internal struggle of wanting to give both your child and your client undivided attention. There’s also the concern about how such interruptions might be perceived, especially when speaking to new clients or stakeholders.
Yet, there’s hope, and there’s a lesson in resilience. For every call that might have a minor hiccup, there are dozens more that go off without a hitch. For every client who might not fully understand, there are countless others who recognise my dedication to my profession and my son.
In that spirit, here are some of my tips for those who might be in a similar situation.
It’s okay to let clients know about potential interruptions. Most will appreciate the honesty.
If interruptions do happen, staying calm and handling the situation with grace can turn a potentially awkward moment into a brief, endearing interlude.
On tough days, remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. For me, it’s the love for Nikaio and the drive to build a flexible, successful business that caters to his needs.
Don’t hesitate to lean on family, friends, or professionals who can help provide strategies or a helping hand when needed.
To all the working dads out there navigating similar challenges— there’s hope, there’s a way, and you’re certainly not alone on this journey.”