Just like working mothers, being a working dad can be very challenging, and being a cool one’s even harder. Today’s article presents 13 cool working dad hacks that can help you balance your career and kids.
In this article:
- Time Management Tips for the Working Dad
- How to Be a Good Dad by Spending Quality Time with Your Family
- How to Be a Better Dad by Asking Others for Help
- How to Be a Great Working Dad by Getting Involved in Your Kids’ Lives
Working Dad Hacks: 13 Ways to Balance Career and Kids
Time Management Tips for the Working Dad
1. Secure Your Kids’ Needs and Safety First
The first thing you’ll need to do, especially if you’re a single father, is to make sure your children get what they need, and are secure while you work during the day. This can make you feel more comfortable leaving your children during the day and help you stay focused at work.
2. Organize Your Schedule
As a working dad and husband, losing track of the things you need to do can have disastrous consequences. You can forget to do very important things or end up unable to do something because of conflicting schedules.
One of the best and simplest solutions is to use a to-do list or time management app such as Wunderlist or Google Calendar. More than just giving you the ability to organize your schedule, they also remind you of upcoming scheduled tasks.
3. Clearly Identify Your Priorities
One of the best ways to make decisions quickly and easily is to clearly identify and remember your priorities. When you’re aware of what’s most important to you, it’s easy to turn your other decision-making options down.
For example, it’s easy to say no to your friends’ invitation for a bar-hopping night when you know your son has an early morning game you promised to be present for.
4. Learn to Hyper Focus
Multi-tasking’s a myth, and one that can severely impact your personal productivity. The less productive and efficient you are at work, the less time you’ll have left for your partner and child.
Therefore, you should learn how to hyper focus at work and even at home.
- At work, turn off your social media apps, email, and other communication apps like Slack or WhatsApp. Check them during your work breaks to ensure you don’t get distracted and can maintain your productivity momentum.
- At home, turn off your computer, email and communications apps, too so you can focus on your partner and child. The worst thing you can do is to make them feel like they’re just an obligation by checking and responding to work messages while spending time with them.
5. Wake up Earlier Than Your Kids and Partner
Some things you need to do for optimal health and productivity require alone time. If you can’t have it at the office, your only chance is at home before everybody else wakes up.
You can get things done early in the morning, which can set the tone for a productive day. These include things like meditating, catching up on your reading, working out, or preparing breakfast for your family.
How to Be a Good Dad by Spending Quality Time with Your Family
6. Leave Work at the Office
Nothing else can make your family feel like they’re second priority than working even at home. It sends your partner and kids a subtle message that work comes first and them second.
If you want to be a cool working dad, focus on your kids during your quality time, which you won’t be able to do if you’re working at home or when your phone’s constantly sounding off.
RELATED: How To Be A Better Husband | 18 Tips
7. Speak Your Family’s Love Language
Many working dads get frustrated when their kids and partners complain about feeling unloved despite them giving gifts. Some feel the same when their kids and partners feel unloved despite spending so much time with them.
If you’re feeling the same, chances are you’re not speaking their love language.
What is a Love Language? A love language refers to how a person feels loved, which in turn, can help their partner know how to love them. Conceptualized and popularized by Gary Chapman, the five love languages are Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Words of Affirmation.
If their love language is quality time, the key to making your time with them count is to spend a lot of time with them. If it’s physical touch, hugs and kisses should be your main strategy to make them feel loved.
Expressing your love in ways that aren’t aligned with their love languages can be an exercise in futility. To discover your kids’ and partner’s love language as well as your own, take the test here.
How to Be a Better Dad by Asking Others for Help
8. Talk to Your Partner
Get your partner involved and don’t let your pride or ego get in the way. When you become vulnerable, you can get the help you need.
In contrast, shutting off your partner will only make you feel more burdened, and eventually, burned out.
Do your partner a favor: have a discussion about handling household chores and areas you need help with. Ask for ideas and so you can both balance work and family well without burning out.
9. Talk to Your Boss
Having some flexibility at work can go a long way toward helping you achieve much-needed work-family balance. Your best chance of having it is by talking to your boss about it.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of being vulnerable. To maximize your chances of getting your boss on board, you’ll need to lay all your cards on the table.
10. Look for an Excellent Child Care Facility
The best way to find excellent childcare is through referrals of friends and family. Given your relationships with them, you can be confident of getting honest and objective feedback about potential childcare facilities.
Of course, you can also check out online forums or local-area Facebook groups dedicated to childcare for recommendations. Be very particular of negative reviews more than positive ones, as they reveal potential issues your child may experience there.
11. Outsource Other Household Chores
If your budget permits it, consider outsourcing the most cumbersome chores in the house. If you do this, you’ll be able to free up a lot of time for your family.
Some chores you may want to consider outsourcing include:
- Cleaning the house
- Cooking meals
How to Be a Great Working Dad by Getting Involved in Your Kids’ Lives
12. A Great Working Dad Knows Each of His Kids Is Unique
While there are general principles for relating well with your kids, including the five love languages, they work differently on each kid.
Some kids whose primary love language is receiving gifts love getting Barbie Dolls while some prefer getting rollerblades. If you really want to get involved in your kids’ lives, know them individually — learn what makes them tick.
Know their love languages, interests, passions, and frustrations, among other things. The more you know them, the more involved you can be in their lives.
13. A Great Working Dad Is There When It Counts
Balancing career success with a wonderful family life means you can’t spend 100% of your time with your kids. However, getting involved in their lives requires you’re at least there when it really matters.
Some of the important moments you’ll need to be there for your kids include:
- First day of school
- The very first piano recital
- Their first basketball game
- Their first graduation
Fortunately, these events are scheduled way in advance. As such, there’s no reason – other than emergencies – to miss them.
Being a good dad is a challenging endeavor, but it’s something you can succeed in. Just remember, it’s all about making the most productive use of your time at work and getting involved in your kids’ lives, and these 13 hacks can help you do both.
Do you have other hacks for achieving optimal work-family balance as a working dad? Let us know in the comments section below.