What is it really like being a modern dad? Jon Tindale stayed at home with his newborn daughter and decided to write a book about it – Daddy Day Care – in the hope he could inspire other dads to take up the challenge (and joy) of the experience.
But is it really more interesting than being air dropped into Kabul or climbing Kathmandu, as Jon intimated?
“The bond that I nurtured and created spending that amount of time with my daughter – my sidekick – she just kind of became a part of me. . . it sounds a bit mushy but it sometimes feels like you’re falling in love everyday with this little person.”
“It is absolutely relentless from dawn until dusk …. then through the night you’re constantly on . .. the cycle of it is extraordinary. How little time you have is a staggering surprise. The sleep deprivation – that’s the hardest thing.”
“I always wanted to spend the time at home with my daughter. Then the opportunity came about, partly because my wife had a good job opportunity . . . it was advantageous for my partner to go back to work sooner and I was up for it and wanted the experience.”
“I was surprised. I really did expect to get my leg pulled mercilessly. But there were very, very few comments. Everyone knew this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. None of the dads I knew had done [extended] parental leave but they’d done enough of parenting that they knew what was involved.”
In his book Jon lays out an hour by hour basis what he experienced. He shares in this interview with Emma Walsh (CEO, Parents At Work) the highs and lows of his experience including singing his lullaby version of Purple Rain plus his revelation about slip-on shoes. He also shares how parental leave impacted his return to work and what it feels like to be an involved father.