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The #1 Obstacle To Work Life Balance For Dads


Why do you think many men devote so much attention to their work while their family longs for their attention?

It might be cultural influences that encourage men to put their work before their family but I think ultimately there is a different answer.


Men have a strong desire to provide for their family and often times this translates to earning a decent wage in order to ensure the safety and security of their family. The fear that many men have is that if they do not work hard that they will lose their job and fail to provide the necessities of life.

When you consider the number of families where there is only one income, or that the majority of men in a dual-income household earn more than their spouse, and that many people live paycheck to paycheck, losing that income could be disastrous and this feeds the belief that you must work more and more to avoid that possibility.

But the reality is that your family needs more than money.

Your family needs your time and attention. As I have found through experience, they need more than just your physical presence to satisfy their need for your attention. You need to find ways to connect with your child as well as doing your best to be a good husband.

Unfortunately I have had more than one instance where I have lost sight of my life balance as I dealt with belief that I needed to provide for my family. I’ve been guilty of working extremely long hours as I thought that was necessary in order to provide for my family. Luckily I have an understanding wife that will recognize when I am falling into this trap and remind me that there are more important things than money.

While it wouldn’t be easy to deal with the loss of your job, you have to consider the long-term effect on your family if you are never there for them. Is it worth the money to have a distant relationship with your family?

Some say that money is the root of all evil. I’m not so sure that I believe that but being obsessed with the belief that your sole responsibility is to provide your family with money is not a recipe for success. If you find yourself consumed with the idea that you must work hard to provide your family with money, take a step back and think of what you would do if you suddenly had to get by with a lower paying job or even no income at all.

You might have to sell your house and move into an apartment. Or maybe you might have to move to an area with a lower cost of living. It might mean that you have to cancel cable television or that you have to eat more economical meals. It might not be easy or pleasant but you will likely find that your dependency on money is not quite as severe as you think it is right now.

Make an effort to spend time with your family. Don’t let money consume you.

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    On November 8th, 2007 at 8:49 pm, JLow said:

    I came across this from another dad-related blog, Daddy Types.

    His intro to the article read:

    “(sic).. now there’s finally a reason to read Men’s Vogue. For like five minutes.”

    Took me more than 5 minutes to read it, but still a good read nonetheless

    Charlie LeDuff on life as a stay-at-home dad: http://www.mensvogue.com/magazine/articles/2007/11/charlie_leduff?printable=true&currentPage=all

    On November 9th, 2007 at 6:29 pm, Derek Semmler said:

    John, thanks for passing along this article. That was a great read and touched on so many important points.

    On November 16th, 2007 at 2:58 pm, Dedicated worker said:

    This article is BS. Nothing in this world is more important than money. If a man’s family cannot see this, they are the ones with the problem.

    On November 16th, 2007 at 3:00 pm, Dedicated worker said:

    It’s so easy to say money isn’t everything when you don’t have to worry about it. Try living on a middle class salary, then tell me there are more important things than money.

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