Being a working dad is hard.
Every time Father’s Day rolls around, you likely get bombarded with emotional father quotes. If the marketers are doing their jobs right, your family scrambles for the perfect gift and you reflect on what it means to be a father.
Good Father Checklist
Like many other dads in tech, you may be wondering, “How can I be a good working father?” Well, you can put an end to all that worry. We found everything that makes an excellent working father and put it into this easy-to-check-off good father checklist!
…Yeah, we couldn’t even fool ourselves with that one. The truth is, being a father is tough and rather demanding. And when you spend a lot of time working, you may feel like you aren’t doing enough for your family. While that guilt is widespread, oftentimes it just isn’t true.
What Makes a True Father?
According to The Good Men Project, perfect parenting doesn’t exist. But you already know that. However, with a healthy mix of love, humor, empathy, humility, and time, you can make memories with your kids that last a lifetime and instill strong values. The key is consistency and intention. Even on days when you aren’t home much, you can still make an impact. Those moments can then add up over time to help shape your kids into the adults they will become.
How Many Hours Does the Average Dad Work in Tech?
The amount of hours that tech workers put in varies greatly from position to position, but on average, they work less than the standard 40-hour week. According to Business Insider, 11% of remote tech professionals work 5-10 hours per week, 27% work 25-30 hours a week, 30% have 30-35 hour weeks, and 31% spend 15-20 hours per week on work. A major factor in the amount of hours tech employees spend on work is whether they work remotely. When working from home, tech employees can finish projects at their own pace, often ahead of schedule.
Still, there are many tech workers in the office that put in 50 hours or more into their job each week. Working parents tend to take on longer hours than those who aren’t supporting a family, making it even harder to balance a career and home life.
What Other Challenges Come with the Tech Industry?
Time spent on work isn’t the only challenge for dads in the tech industry; inconsistent hours, burnout, and receiving work notifications after-hours also create more stress.
- Salaried positions lack clear start and end times, which can blur work-home boundaries.
- Project-based work means you can’t always “clock-out” at the same time each day.
- Burnout at work takes energy away from being present when you’re home.
These frustrations can often feel like they’re a necessary part of providing for your family, but they don’t have to keep you from being present at home.
How Can a Dad Work Full Time While Still Being There for His Family?
As we mentioned earlier, small, impactful moments can really add up. Helping with homework, practicing sports, or even just hanging out with your kids for Saturday morning cartoons can build lasting bonds. Here are a few more ways to make each moment count:
- Show your kids what you do for work. Children love learning new things, even if it seems boring to you after doing it for so long. And, since you work in tech, you likely have in-depth knowledge about a lot of the technology your kids encounter every day. Many parents feel that technology puts a barrier between them and their children. However, you have the opportunity to teach them about the “magic” behind their screens. This not only introduces your kids to exciting and practical information, it can also change your perspective on the work you do every day.
- Set aside regular bonding time with your kids. Life gets crazy and schedules fill up as your kids get older. Schoolwork, extracurriculars, friends, first jobs—it’s a lot to work around. With a routine, you can make sure that you still spend dedicated time together that’s not rushing from one thing to the next. Allow your kids’ input on when works best for them and what activities they like, too. Considering their feelings will go a long way in making that time enjoyable for everyone. Silencing your phone is also a great idea. Few things are truly urgent, especially when it comes to work, so you can save emails and Slack notifications for when your kids go on to their next activity.
- Look for a new job. If your current employer isn’t respecting your work-life balance, there’s one out there that will. With businesses facing a tech worker shortage, you have more leverage to negotiate a better schedule in a new position if your current boss won’t budge. You may also see a more significant pay increase. Workers who received a raise in 2021 averaged a 3.3% pay increase, while those who started a new job earned 6.6% more than at their previous position.
As a working dad, you need to provide for your family. But your role doesn’t stop there. With these tips, you might just be able to break through the craziness of life and build an even stronger bond with your kids.
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