Fatherhood Statements

Women in Engineering Newsletter

Fatherís Day 2006
Sunday 3rd  September


Unexpected Benefits

Valerie Maxville

Many working mothers put a lot of pressure on themselves to "do it all", they build their careers, manage the household and give all their "spare" time to providing every opportunity to their kids. This is possible with the support of an inner circle of friends, family and childcare who are the child-aising team.

 

It is often gandparents who take much of the load, doing an excellent job, but fathers can be sidelined in a well-intentioned arrangement that minimises impact on his career and time. If the father does shift work, long hours or fly-in-fly-out it can be easier to avoid the complexities of that schedule and give him "his space".

 

But time goes quickly and we need to consider the expected and unexpected benefits of dads having more involvement and responsibility for children:

 

Some Benefits of Dads Getting More Involved

  • You can build a better relationship with your children
  • Your children will see a more balanced parenting model
  • The children are exposed your interests and thought processes, learning that there are more perspectives on the world
  • Your partner gets the chance to spend more time on her career, hobbies, sports and is given "her space". In addition the kids can see that women's pursuits have equal priority with men's e.g. playing sport.
  • Kids provide an excellent break and diversion from intense and stressful work
  • With reduced demands on her time, Mum can forge ahead in her career, which could lead to increased income
  • Dad can be involved with the kids in sickness and in health - and experience how relationships are strengthened through the caring and being cared for experience
  • Grandparents and other carers feel less pressure to be always available
  • Kids can look forward to the special time that they will have Daddy to themselves - and they know they are an important in amongst his schedule
  • The understanding of each other's responsibilities can improve the parents' relationship

 

In our house when Nanna was diagnosed with cancer, her very significant role with the grandchildren had to shift to to most logical person - Daddy. The sisterhood of Mum, Nanna and daycare has insulated him from the demands of raising three kids, but was that doing him any favours? We have seen all the above expected and unexpected benefits which come from Dad being more involved in every part of the children's lives.

 

It's a WIN:WIN situation when the load is shared. Perhaps Father's Day is a good time to see what changes you can make to activate the benefits of a deep involvement in your children's lives. It may require some creativity, depending on circumstances, but your kids will love you for it :-).

 

 


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