Being an involved dad can take on many forms: when spending weekend time with your child, you are “totally there”, and not on the phone or BlackBerry…going into the office a little later sometimes when you accompany your child to their check-up at the pediatrician…actively listening to your child when they are frustrated by something…having a catch after school…going out for ice cream…taking a day off from work to care for your child when they are sick…the list goes on.
One involved father in particular ensures that “There are certain things that are sacrosanct on his schedule — kids’ recitals, soccer games, basketball games, school meetings,” David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, said in an interview the day after the session. “These are circled in red on his calendar, and regardless of what’s going on he’s going to make those.” Additionally, President Obama is said to convene meetings on most days by 6pm in order to be present at family dinner (even to continue them after 8pm when they go to bed), plans certain business trips abroad to coincide with his daughters’ school vacation schedule, and attends parent-teacher conferences.
The President Sets the Pace For Fathers by Cheryl Gay Stolberg of the NY Times, is the latest article about an involved dad handling the juggling act to keep his life in balance- it just so happens that it is the President in this case. Matt suggested this one to me – certainly worth the read. The article mentions that “the 48-year-old president is reflecting attitudinal changes about fatherhood that are typical of men in his generation, said Ellen Galinsky, the president of the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research organization. Ms. Galinsky says men, now more than women, feel caught between work and parenthood; her surveys show that 59 percent of men report experiencing some or a lot of work/life conflict, up from 35 percent in 1977.”
Of course, President Obama is “the boss” and that affords him a heck of a lot more flexibility than most other dads in the free world. The article reports that “he gets to “live over the store,” as he often says, he doesn’t have the stress of making that mad dash for the subway to get home in time to relieve the baby sitter. At home, he never has to fix the leaky faucet or take out the trash. And if he needs to go back to the office to finish up work late at night, all he has to do is walk downstairs.” All true. Sure, he needs to be the model citizen, but in this case it is nice to see how this dad puts his kids first – Even if, sometimes his kids might come before a national crisis or fixing the countries problems…