Working dads, working flexibly – How to create better work-life balance during the early years of fatherhood?

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This month for Working Dads Connect (our regular online ‘men’s shed’) we interviewed Dr Adam Fraser – Human Performance Researcher and author of The Third Space.

To kick start the webinar our Parents At Work CEO called out some sobering statistics about the state of play for men today:

  • 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives [Beyond Blue] and 1 in 3 men at any one time are living with a chronic health condition [Australian Institute of Health and Welfare]
  • Fathers with children under 15 years old spend an average of 13 hours a week on child care [Australian Institute of Family Studies]
  • Men are twice as likely as women to have requests for flexible work hours rejected [Bain and Co]

The question is – what’s going on for modern working dads? How and why are men struggling with and/or managing the balance with work and family life?

Our latest Working Dads Connect addressed some of these questions plus gave some great tips about having a successful career during the intensive fatherhood years. You can listen to the full webinar by tapping here for the free recording. In the meantime here are some of the highlights . . .

“I’m seeing a huge trend in men saying ‘I’m really struggling, I’m doing it hard – it’s like my world is in this pressure cooker and how do I fit in? Think about the business landscape at the moment – everything is changing. Leadership is no longer command and control – it’s collaborative… we’re having to wear more hats than ever. I’m wearing 30-40 hats”

“How do we show up to each moment as our best?”

“Do we give the transition to fatherhood the time needed that is required to properly prepare?”

“Often the conversation for job re-design or role for dads is not happening”

“Does what we do between work and home affect our balance?”

“All the strategies revolved around time which is no longer relevant because there’s no barriers between work and home.”

“How much flexibility are we willing to have? It’s normally about the practicals – like a fixed arrangement to ‘buy’ flexibility as opposed to having a flexible mindset.

“The way some people are describing flexibly in their mind is quite inflexible”.

“Me-time is essential. Men are far better at this than women. They have far, far less guilt than women.”

“Negative spill – I have a crap day and take it home which creates more stress which I carry to work the next day. The third space is like a circuit breaker… it can massively reduce stress in the home.”

“The Third Space is that moment of transition between one role or task to the next role or task…what we do in this transitional gap has a huge impact on our happiness, performance and balance.”

“If you come home and you’re a rock star – engaged, interactive, helpful, empathetic – the family don’t resent work as much.”

“If you’re going to do work, do work. If you’re going to be with the family, be with the family.”

“Flexibility can be overdone – where you spread yourself too thin, trying to do too much at once.”

“Focus on outcomes and your deliverables… get away from ‘I’m at my desk for so long so I must be working hard. Look at where is my time best spent?”

Adam’s strategies for supporting yourself in the work to home transition:

  1. Reflect – how do we reflect on the day. Most people reflect on everything that was bad which puts them in a really negative headspace. Instead ask: what did I do well today? Focus on progress and evolution
  1. Rest – do something that makes you feel still and present.
  1. Reset – Ask yourself what your intention is. How do I want to walk through this door?

For the full recording of the Working Dads Connect (May) tap here. To get a copy of Adam’s book visit The Third Space.

Would you like to join us for the next Working Dad’s Connect session in July

We have Alex Laguna from Better Dads and Samuel Eddy, counsellor and executive coach, exploring the topic: Being the Modern Dad: Keeping your relationships alive as you raise your family & manage a busy career (tap here for the full outline and registration link).

About Working Dads Connect 

A new ‘men’s shed’ for working dads

Parents At Work have a brand new bi-monthly webinar especially for working dads.

Working Dads Connect (WDC) is a bit like an online style ‘men’s shed’.

Every second month we invite an inspiring dad and/or expert in the area of work-life balance to join our experienced coach to delve into the tricky questions working dads want answered.

Designed for dads to share their story, ask questions or simply dial in confidentially on listen-only mode. Let’s get real with the issues modern dads face.

This is a free online webinar open to all so please feel free to invite anyone you think may be interested!

WDC Long Tile

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