Care has partnered with family bloggers to bring you a parenting survival series, exploring the trials and tribulations of caring for a family. Welcome to the second instalment, written by You The Daddy. Follow us on social to stay tuned for more from our guest bloggers.
I was really inspired recently by a story my friend told me about her boss. He’s in his early 40s. A proud dad to two girls.
Having worked in the corporate world for a good many years, he’d seen first-hand the misconceptions that many employers still have about parents in the workplace.
Outdated ideas that parenting is primarily a woman’s job. That parental leave is a mother’s priority and a ‘business inconvenience’. That dads are only interested in providing for their families financially; not concerned with getting involved in childcare or making it home in time to help with bath time.
In his own office, while flexible working for mums was already quite established, he noticed that a lot of dads were worried about how they were perceived by colleagues when they left work early to collect their kids from nursery or take time off to look after a sick child or partner.
Rather than inform the team they were leaving early or wouldn’t be in, many would instead just slip off quietly, or put a private appointment in their diaries to show they were out of the office.
But my friend’s boss didn’t think it should be this way.
Unashamedly a dad
Being a proud father himself, he strongly believed that being a parent shouldn’t have any bearing whatsoever on your career progression. That having responsibilities to your family doesn’t make you any less productive, committed to the job, or valuable as a member of the team.
So, he spearheaded a new policy at work called “Leave LOUDLY”, in which he encouraged both mums AND dads to be more open and proud about their parental responsibilities outside of work.
Not to feel bad about putting their families first from time to time. Not to be secretive or worried about leaving work early to look after their kids, go to a nativity play or attend parents’ evening. But rather to shout it from the rooftops when they left for the day. To normalise it. And instil a new corporate culture where the roles of both mums and dads are seen as equal and important.
I thought this was such a lovely idea, which really resonated with me personally. I regularly worry that my work/life balance is out of kilter. And I’ve definitely been nervous in the past about taking time off work to look after my wife or one of the kids when they’re ill. Worried about how an unplanned absence from work might be perceived by my colleagues. Or whether it might have a negative impact on my next promotion or pay rise.
But it needn’t be this way.
Not just a breadwinner and proud of it
As a working dad and the main breadwinner in our household, of course my job is important, providing the financial security that my family needs. But, like so many other dads today, it’s only one aspect of my job as a parent.
I’m also a nappy changer. Bum wiper. Bogey picker. Story teller. Sleep trainer. Taxi driver. Teacher. Playmate. Gardener. Cleaner. Cheerleader.
Literally anything my family needs me to be at any given time…
But probably my most important job of all is looking after my family’s health and wellbeing. As a working dad, if my child is unwell, I shouldn’t feel bad about taking some time off work to look after them.
As a husband, if my wife falls ill, there’s no question I should stay home to look after her and help out with the kids until she’s back on her feet.
And even if I can’t get out of work for some reason, I can still make a big difference by visiting my local pharmacy for free healthcare advice and reliable remedies to help them get better.
Care has you covered in these TLC moments when your family needs you most. Being the number one brand sold through UK pharmacy*, Care has over 80 tried and trusted everyday value family remedies, that cover all matter of everyday ailments from coughs** and colds***, to pain relief***, digestion**** and skin care*****.
As a dad, it’s the little things like this that make all the difference. Being present. Being involved. And showing you care.
So from now on I’m going to be leaving the office loudly. Work can wait. My family needs me…
Visit your local pharmacy and ask for the Care range or like our Facebook page @CareHealthcareUK for more health advice.
Giles is a London based Dad blogger and father to two boys, giving the guy’s perspective on pregnancy, babies and parenthood on his blog youthedaddy.co.uk.
*For verification please write to Thornton and Ross Ltd, HD7 5QH
**Care Simple Linctus Paediatric Sugar Free. Contains Citric Acid Monohydrate. For the relief of a mild, non-specific cough. Suitable for children. Always read the label.
***Care Ibuprofen for Children Oral Suspension. Contains Ibuprofen. Relieves mild to moderate pain such as headache, sore throats, teething pains and toothache as well as cold and flu symptoms and minor aches and sprains. Suitable for children aged 6 months to 12 years old. Always read the label.
****Care Co-Lactase Infant Drops. Reduces the lactose content in breast milk and infant formula. Suitable for babies from birth. Always read the label.
*****Care Aqueous Emollient Cream (SLS Free). Acts as an effective emollient for the relief of flaky dry skin conditions. Can also be used as a skin cleanser as an alternative to soap. Free from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), colour and fragrance. Suitable for adults, children and the elderly. Always read the label.
Read our previous guest blog by Monkey & Mouse by clicking here.