Being a new father can have many challenges. While a new mother’s challenges are great the new challenges a father faces can often not be noticed initially. One of those challenges is balancing a new baby and work.
Balancing work and home life is a sizeable task already but adding a new baby increases the complexity greatly.
For many new father’s they feel the weight of needing to provide financially for their family and this feeling is increased greatly once the added responsibility of a newborn is added to the mix.
While providing for his family financially is of great importance, providing emotional stability and care taking relief is now of high importance for his wife.
Being pulled in both directions like this can create a great deal of stress. So, practical ways need to be found to handle both sides. Letting one side get too far out of balance can cause tension and can start weighing heavily on the other side as well. Balance is of great importance.
But what do you do when you need to keep working to support the family? Call in sick a few times? Start coming in late or leaving much earlier?
Working with Your Employer
It is not a good idea here to keep your employer in the dark. If you decide to start taking many more sick days or coming in late or leaving early they will start to notice and wonder what is going on.
Be open with your employer. Specifically meet with your manager or supervisor to discuss your new home demands. Explain the stresses at home and how you do not want those stresses to start impacting your work performance.
Suggest some practical steps you have thought of ahead of time for how to temporarily adjust your work parameters to help ease the burden at home.
If your manager has children he or she may be very understanding to how difficult this time can be.
When my wife and I had twin girls when our son was 3 the demands on both of us at home increase fast literally overnight when the girls were born. The additional strain of them being in NICU only added further to the stress we both were feeling.
Don’t get me wrong – my girls are a blessing as is my son. I believe this with all my heart. I’m simply saying the changes to our daily routine and the new responsibilities created were a lot to adjust to. All be it well worth the effort!
Something I tried during this time was to talk to my manager and propose an adjusted work schedule that better allowed me to be available for my wife.
The key to making this work is to be very open with your employer, willing to work with them, and to propose a solution not just a problem.
Something I could have done better with was being “on call” more nights to respond to the girls’ needs so my wife could sleep more. While I did do this some nights I regret not having done this more to relieve her further.
What are some ways you found to help balance work and home after having a baby?