Tales of a Working Dad…trying to have it all

– Guest post from dad blogger Tom Cox from Unlikely Dad…A working dad. An adoptive dad. An LGBT dad. Not your ‘average’ dad, perhaps? –

I’m a dad.

I work full time. In a pretty demanding job.

I get home and always take over bath and bedtime.

I do as much as I can around the house.

I try to work out three or four times a week.

I manage all the finances.

And lots in between.

I am forever planning something. If it’s not get togethers, playdates or hosting an evening at home with friends, we’re attending another kids party, or organising a family member’s birthday…there’s literally always something going on. And I try to manage it all.

Working Dad

No way am I alone in this. All of us parents are hard at work trying to juggle life, work and everything else that comes with this package deal called ‘Family’. If it’s not the above, then it’s “Oh I must get into town and get those shoes for K” or “Oh crap, I still haven’t booked that dentist appointment.” At the moment, I keep bloody forgetting to call the gutter man to come and fix our broken drains. And while I’m thinking about it, I must get around to booking that garage appointment to sort the engine light that keeps coming on in my car.

I love to be in control. But attempting this can sometimes get a bit too much. There, I said it. It’s sometimes really hard to admit it though, right? Lately, I haven’t felt in control of any aspects of my life and everything seems to be getting pushed back until ‘tomorrow’, whenever that might be…

Right now, I’m in the thick of it as we plan our sons 3rd birthday party. And, as usual, now’s the time when everything else decides to kick off and get in the way. It’s so true that it all comes at once.

But tonight, I had a little epiphany where I realised…“It’s ok to wobble. And to maybe fall off the saddle. It’s fine.” Are we seriously expected to constantly maintain the Stepford Wife/Husband level of domestic Goddess/God? Because I am getting a little further away from that milestone every day…

As a working dad, Monday to Friday can feel like a total blur of stress induced comas in the office, followed by brief flashes of family time every evening. Then the weekend arrives, and the focus switches to making sure my toddler is happy and having fun and doing things for him or taking care of errands that can’t get done in the week. As a working dad, these weekends are so precious, longed for, oh so needed, but never long enough. They literally fly by…gone in an instant.

Working Dad

So how do I prioritise and cope with it all? The honest answer is… I don’t know?

Most of the time on autopilot, somehow the work gets done. You feel energised; your toddler’s in bed; you do a few chores; you sit down for some late dinner and finally manage to catch up on everything. But then there are the times, like the funk I seem to be in now, where I just want to be lazy. Eat shit food. And sleep.

Maybe it’s the post-Christmas lull. I ate my body weight in carbs and brand butter for weeks on end and put the gym routine firmly on hold. I got the flu, but still went into work. I think I’m still just a little exhausted from last year. And that’s ok…it was a busy year! As difficult as it is, I just need to keep telling myself that I can’t be a super dad every single day and that the washing can pile up every now and then.

Keeping up with keeping up is hard. Maybe I just needed these past few of weeks of downtime to allow me to get my ass in gear for the rest of the year ahead. I’m about to have a threenager. It’s going to be a busy one…

Working Dad

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I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s guest post from working dad Tom, creator of the amazing new dad blog Unlikely Dad. I urge you to go check out his previous posts, as well as giving him a follow on Instagram and Facebook!

So, are you a working dad or mum too? Do you strive to have it all, but struggle to juggle your commitments at work, while still being involved and present with your kids? What other challenges have you faced as the working parent? As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please do share your stories in the comments section below.

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