Balancing the Gift of Fatherhood at Work

· by Josh Wilbanks

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Father’s Day is upon us! A time to celebrate the men out there who battle through the day-to-day of parenthood. A day where all celebrated dads look forward to getting another necktie or gift card to Lowes or Home Depot. While the usual dad gifts are great, the greatest gift is the gift of being a father. In the case of single fathers especially, it can be difficult to balance work and fatherhood. Nearly 80% of single fathers believe their situation causes them to work longer hours. (SHRM) So, how can you work towards balancing the gift of fatherhood at work? It’s possible if both employer and employee work together.


For employers:

Allow for flexible work arrangements.

Give fathers more freedom in determining when and where they can fulfill their job duties. This can help fathers to meet the needs of the family while still meeting the requirements of the job.


Create a culture that values men as fathers and caregivers.

There is a fear among some men that taking time off work for family needs can negatively impact their careers. 60% of single fathers said they believe their status meant they missed out on a promotion. (SHRM) Creating a supportive culture that addresses those issues can help ease that fear.


Make sure everyone is aware of the leave policy. 

Not all employees are familiar with their company’s leave policies. Make sure that’s communicated or at least easy to find. If you happen to offer extra leave such as parental or paternity leave, make sure that is clear as well.


For single dads:

Make your priorities clear.

In a co-parenting situation, make sure your employer knows your co-parenting schedule. Stress to your employer the importance of your role as a father. This can help prevent scheduling conflicts between work and your parenting time. If a conflict should arise, be ready to provide alternatives to make up for any missed work if needed.


Don’t bring your home problems into the workplace. 

This can be particularly tough in divorce situations. Keep personal issues with your ex or with your kids out of the work environment. As difficult as it may be, your focus at work needs to be on your job performance.


Get outside support. 

Reach out to family members, friends, or trusted neighbors to help in situations where you need it. A good support system is critical. Such support can help with transportation or even childcare in the event of a work conflict.


Make time for yourself.

Focusing on your job and your kids is important. What’s also important is focusing on your health and well-being. Take time for yourself whenever you can. Do the things you enjoy doing. Spend time with friends and connect with other single dads. Taking time for yourself can prevent burnout. It will also improve your performance at work and your ability to be the best dad you can be.


There are many challenges single fathers face in life. The reward of being a father far outweighs any of those challenges. Using the tips above, both employer and employee can work together to provide balance in life. With that balance, the single dad will be more engaged as an employee and more importantly, as a father. Balancing the gift of fatherhood at work IS possible.

Josh Wilbanks Family picture for Fathers day blog

Looking to provide more balance for your working dads? HTI can help.