For working parents, it might be a familiar refrain: Oh, the mistakes I’ve made. But sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit. What about the successes? And how do fathers grapple with their parenting difficulties and triumphs when they don’t tend to openly discuss the topic with other men?
“Of the dozens of conversations I’ve had this year about the challenges of being a professional and a parent, exactly zero have been with fathers. — Wade Burgess
Sallie Krawcheck, chair of Ellevate Network and Ellevate Asset Management
“I’ve made any number of mistakes as a mom, as my kids are only too happy to note,” wrote Krawcheck in her post The Handful of Smart Things I Did as a Working Mom. “But I’ve done a handful of smart things.”
Among them, she wrote:
“I spent one weekend away with each of the kids every year… for the most part these weekends are remembered fondly,” Krawcheck wrote. “Getting away from the routine meant everything.”
“I convinced my husband early on… that when one of the little ones woke up in the middle of the night and screamed “Mommy!!”, they actually meant “Parent of Either Gender”. We took turns finding the pacifier, getting the glass of water, looking for the monster under the bed, and it made all the difference,” she wrote.
“When they had real health challenges, I dropped everything. When my son was in the hospital, I didn’t leave the hospital until he left the hospital. When my daughter was confined to a darkened room for her concussion, I was confined to the same darkened room for her concussion,” Krawcheck wrote. “I was grateful that I had built the kind of career that enabled me to do this.”
“I’ve let them see me work hard, and succeed, and work hard, and fail, and pivot, and succeed, and fail, and work hard,” she wrote.
Wade Burgess, vice president of talent solutions at LinkedIn
The challenges of being a working parent is a topic of conversation for many women — but does the same hold true for men?
“Of the dozens of conversations I’ve had this year about the challenges of being a professional and a parent, exactly zero have been with fathers,” wrote Burgess in his post A Note to Fathers About Priorities. “Perhaps men aren’t as comfortable expressing their internal conflicts.”
Burgess offered his own practical ways to “deal with things that men simply don’t bring up due to the strange social implication that work/life balance isn’t as much of an issue for men as it is for women.”
“Forget balance. I have not found the concept of balance to be particularly helpful or practical… I consider building an enriching life similar to orchestrating beautiful music,” wrote Burgess. “The best music has many tempos, ranging from allegro (fast) to adagio (slow). When composing your life, it’s important to include times in the score for both tempos.”
“Set priorities. If you know your priorities in advance it’s much easier to choose when you must… I’ve established in order of importance my spiritual life, marriage, children, and work (an abbreviated list),” he wrote. “Be open about your priorities. So much angst in life is caused by holding back, guessing how another will react or fear of consequence.”
“Set boundaries. What this really means is you have to be comfortable saying no. When I’m working in my local office I take a 5:04 pm (17:04) train home. Every day,” Burgess wrote. “This means I may need to take some meetings (even video conferences) on the train. Well worth the tradeoff of being home to play ball or swim with my kids before dinner.”
“Pre-game. Just as you mentally prepare to walk into an important engagement at work, take a moment to adjust your mindset when engaging with your family,” he wrote.”
Source: BBC Capital