Working dads would always feel they have more battles to contend with than working moms. The narrative that gender pay imbalance makes the working mum – who earns less – to more likely drop off work because the man earns more may be true. But that is not the whole story.
Given an option, a man will love to relax at home and not go to work. Hanging out and having fun with the boys will be like play-watching a professional league game. Working dads wants to do some other fun stuffs too – not just go to work and earn a living for the family. But that should not include any – or a lot of – home or child care responsibilities. This type of man or working dads is real and do exist, but rarely the conventional real man. And such men will form a very minute percentage of men. Now don’t roll those eyes looking down at your man or your self – if you are a man reading this.
Just as a woman or working moms have that natural tendency to take care of the home and the children, so do real men. But real men and working dads go into battles too. They have moments of low self esteem and doubt over their manliness, especially if they cannot provide for their family.
Working Dads Battles And Working Moms Love
Just when the post, working moms battles and the mental health toll was off to press, LinkedIn was prompting me to review a post by Andrew. Andrew’s post, why you feel the burden to provide is about a dad who is “celebrating” a milestone. Guess what it is. He was having the last of four kids turn 18! He was glad that he would no longer be the “parent” of any children, since they are now all adults.
Andrew got my attention when he wrote, “I think it was because of the incredible pressure I used to feel to provide for the family, whilst doing work that frankly had little meaning for me. I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep it up. To hang on until this milestone date in the future. Of course as parents, we never stop loving and caring for our kids. But I honestly wondered if I would be able to make it through all those commutes and meetings where I didn’t want to be.”
Speaking on behalf of real men, I will say, that statement by Andrew just feel so normal for many working dads. I then remembered some honest quotes about fatherhood from Ben Affleck. It added spice to my thought on this. Ben said, “Fatherhood has made me more sensitive and probably more caring, in a way. I always thought I was a caring guy, but it has made me feel things more acutely.”
When The Battles Without Shifts To The Battles Within
Usually, almost like normal, couples take on each other, tear each other apart and fight like the enemy is within. At that point, we all wonder, where was the first love? Mr. Pay Slip and Mrs. Professional Career that took back seats when love was in the air are the new bosses. Dictating what decision is right to take. What feelings to have.
It is not a crime to suspend judgement on what could possible go wrong in a relationship when that first love crush hit. When there are light sparkles in the air, colorful stars in the sky and live bands music playing just for two.
Recently, through the building relationships podcast, I was listening to Dr. Gary Chapman answer some questions on radio. I was reminded that the initial ‘crazy love feeling’ only last a while. We all need to keep working on our relationships for it to keep the shine.
Now, I don’t want to get off track and start to talk about Dr. Chapman’s Five Love Languages. But remember this, Work-Family balance was already tough enough. Then the pandemic hit.
Don’t Crash Your Ride, There Is Help Hanging Out With Good ‘Real’ Men
Real man, do you feel burdened and insufficient providing for your family? And we are not just talking about the financials. But also about the emotional needs of everyone in the family, including your spouse. You can be feeling discouraged and less appreciated, especially by everyone who should be cheering you on. Though you are doing your best grinding at a work that seems not to have any meaning for you?
Working dads mental health is also very important during this period. Seek professional counselling to get some good advise to ride this storm. And, if you are feeling just a little like a boy again, here are 10 habits that you need to watch and take care of, they can change boys into men.
Now, don’t crash your ride. In the heat of working dads battles, do not place the “punches” on the working mom, your spouse. You are both scripting the greatest love story, your stories, a personal story. It is your story, whatever you want to write.
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