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  1. Blog
  2. Partners in Diversity
  3. June 12, 2023

14 Working Dads Share Advice on How to Make Work & Life Work

“Happy humans perform better”

Dad with his child
Photo courtesy of Kelli McClintock

This article is part of InHerSight's Partners in Diversity series. Discover companies partnering with InHerSight to better support women in the workplace.

Real talk. Work-life balance is out of reach for many of us—especially parents. “Unfortunately, the idea of a great work-life balance for dual-career families with young children remains a bit of an illusion,” says Ned Brown, a working dad and the Chief Creative Officer at The Looma Project. “In my view, we as a society haven't figured this one out yet. Inevitably, for periods of time, one partner or the other will have to make big sacrifices in one place or the other, and you rarely feel you're giving both your family and work commitments everything they deserve.”

What helps many parents is support, from friends, families, companies… and other working parents who’ve done it all before. 

For Father’s Day, we asked working dads like Brown to share the best advice they have for navigating work and life in 2023. The most common advice? Stay present. Maybe parents need screen time limits, too.

14 working dads share advice on how to make work and life work 

“When a company like Watkins Wellness offers you tools for your professional and personal growth, like having a personal coach, use them to their full potential. As a dad of two wonderful kids, I use all these values acquired through Watkins and apply them to become the best coach possible not only for my clients, but also set an example for my children so that we are able to enjoy all the moments together and even have them help me in my work responsibilities. Creating unforgettable moments is what matters to me, and to my kids.” —Marc-Andre Arsenault, Regional Sales Manager, Watkins Wellness

“My strongest advice is to prioritize work culture. Look for signs that the company values the human as much as the professional. Empathetic leadership and flexible management are crucial because there are too many drop-offs, pickups, sick days, appointments, practices, shopping trips, laundry loads, meals, and 60-minute bedtime routines for working moms and dads to keep a traditional work schedule and keep up at home. Happy humans perform better. Good leaders recognize that. And you don't want to work for a company that doesn't recognize the importance of being a good partner and parent—and having the flexibility and space to do so. I'm proud of the culture we've built at The Looma Project in this regard and grateful for it every single day.” —Ned Brown, Chief Creative Officer, The Looma Project

“Just be honest with yourself and your manager about when you need time for your kids. Good managers understand burnout, and if you aren't honest when you're overburdened or over-stressed, you'll get burnt out, and that's not good for you or the team.” —Xander Dumaine, Principal Software Engineer, JupiterOne

“Find time for working on your wellbeing. Make it a critical part of your schedule as its impact is massive when juggling the work-family life balance. And always buy the expensive butter!” —Alex Cope, Client Success Manager, Reward Gateway

“One practice that's working well for me is a daily goal of at least one present moment with my son. A clear, focused, distraction-free moment where I try to be very aware of the moment and the experience. This can be hard to do with remote work, but it helps to put the technology away, and I'm lucky to work for a company that values time away from work as much as time at work.” —Connor Eagan, Sr. Director of Sales, Hyperproof

“To successfully balance work and family life, it's essential to prioritize and establish boundaries between these aspects of your life. Developing a routine can be highly beneficial while maintaining flexibility to adapt when necessary. Sharing responsibilities with your partner or family helps distribute the workload and prevent overwhelm.” —Chad Beinschroth, Solutions Consultant, Gradient AI

“As a fellow working parent, my advice is to prioritize self-care in order to balance the demands of being a caregiver, teacher, and employee. Working multiple jobs is tough, but don't compromise on taking care of yourself. By giving yourself time and space to recharge, you can excel both at home and in the workplace. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.” —Kevin Graves, Sr. Manager, Web Solutions, Watkins Wellness

“As a parent of adult children in their 20s, my advice is to make it a priority to be present for as much as you can with your children. I never believed when I was in it that ‘time flies by,’ but it does. And to make that time, I think it is important to communicate with your boss and your company the value of your family and the need to have some time to be present at your children’s events and moments that are important to you. Also, include your children in what you do. They will learn a lot listening to you talk about your work and what you love, and the challenges you face and how you solved those challenges at work. They pick up on more than you realize.” —Mike Zook, Vice President, Sales, Watkins Wellness

“Whether you work from home or in the office, being transparent with when you need to take time for your loved ones has always proven beneficial for me. I've found that when I'm vocal about why I need to unexpectedly step away for a bit, that helps reinforce the culture we are building such that my peers also feel more comfortable when they have unexpected needs arise.” —Carter Hesterman, Director of Engineering, JupiterOne

“Create a schedule so you can separate work from home, and prepare the night before for your following day schedule. That might mean getting up earlier to prepare your children for school or planning to relax more with your family that night rather than being stressed in the morning.” —Chris Manzo, CAD, Seven Seas Water Group

“Being a working parent isn't easy but you find ways to make your children your priority. I travel a lot in my position, so my wife and I have to be organized. We have a system where we sit down on Sundays to plan out the week ahead with a color coordinated calendar to track all of our schedules. We always make sure to schedule family dinner together as often as possible. We have lots of other tricks like that, but my biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you have a work-life balance. Set a good example for your children by taking breaks, taking an interest in what they're doing, making time for yourself and for them, but also let them see that hard work pays off and that you can handle being successful in the workforce and as a parent.” —John Allen, Director of Sales - Corporate Accounts, RS Americas

“The most important promotion you’ll receive is becoming a parent. At work, you’ll have hard days and easy days, but I hope your best days are shared with family. I’m a new father (two under 2) and I’m still figuring it out. But something I’ve learned to be true is that despite how my day went, my kids make me feel like they’ve had the best day of their life when they spend it with me. Kids just want our time. I hope parents never lose sight of the impact our presence and attention has when we can give it.” —Andy Foglia, Director of Software Engineering, JupiterOne

“It's a cliché, but I really believe in sleep making everything better—my wife and I alternate on ‘early shift’ with our baby so that one of us can recharge on a given day. Having sleep as a backstop against all our other parenting duties is a gift.” —Max Child, CEO, Volley

“My advice to all working parents is something that I have learned to do over time, and it’s simply said but sometimes hard to do. Leave your work problems and frustrations at work and enjoy every moment you have with your children. Children, especially small children feed off the energy you deliver and show and will respond with the same emotions unknowingly because it is the environment they are given. No matter the day you had and how bad it could've been, the smile of a child when you pick them up or walk through that door is what can cure the soul. Nothing that you have going on is too important for them. Be in their presence and be totally invested with them. Remember, you are everything to them and no matter how bad your day or week has been, that won't change to them. Again, enjoy every moment with them, as we all know but always forget, they won't stay a child forever and you won't get that time back.” —Jacob Clinton, Operations Manager, RS Americas

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