Of course, every job has a different level of flexibility, but no matter how fixed your work commitments are, you absolutely must find a healthy balance between work and family.
No commitment in your life (aside from the one to your wife or partner) can match the one to your children. That said, there may still be times when work is not flexible and your family is, so use your best judgment. But remember, your family needs to know that they come first.
If you find yourself struggling to balance things, find something you can cut out that doesn’t involve your kids. Keeping your extracurricular activities is a great idea if you need time for yourself, but don’t miss out on watching your kids grow. They only do it once.
Working vs. Homemaking
Since balancing work and family is so important and so difficult, I definitely recommend one parent staying at home with the kids if that’s a financially viable option. However, for many of us, it’s just not. Nowadays, the amount of money required to keep a home running can be significant, and it often takes two adults working to support a family.
It’s also important to note that if you are able to discuss who should stay home with the kids, don’t assume it should fall to the mother. There are a lot of factors to take into account, including career goals, incomes, your individual interest in actually staying home, and many more.
But don’t fall into the archaic line of thought that the woman belongs in the home. Your wife will not appreciate that – and you likely won’t appreciate her reaction!
The factors to consider when deciding if both parents should work go beyond you and your partner. Your children will be influenced by different values from childcare providers, have less interaction with you, and can ultimately be less in-tune with the family’s needs.
These aren’t all terrible things; they’re simply issues to take into account.
Becoming a father can be a scary step in life, and a huge leap to adulthood for those of us who were still acting like kids before real kids entered the picture. The new responsibilities can feel overwhelming, but you can do this.
Be a real man who wears a suit and changes diapers! Love your wife or partner and extend that love to your kids; they’ll appreciate it. Support each other, and you’ll figure out how to balance everything without missing out on the important things in life.
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