Stay-At-Home Work Dad: A First-time Father’s TaleEmployee Journals
There are two things I absolutely would love to hear: my baby boy say “daddy” for the first time, and my team rejoicing as we end an appraisal period having positive results in our targets.
Being a working father made me see that there were two sides of me.
I am a father to a now one-year-old boy. At the same time, I am the Tutor Resource Supervisor with a tenure of almost two years. While both are definitely rewarding in their own right, I find myself torn between wanting to see my child’s first year milestones and working tirelessly to provide all his needs. Although I could opt to work from home if needed as a managerial employee, I sometimes wish I could work from home without making personal excuses, so that I could be there for my son when he starts to stand up by himself, and when he learns how to walk.
As any father can tell you, things do change after the little one arrives. I remember taking my time at work, even rendering extra hours, because I knew my wife – who also works in RareJob – would definitely understand. Fast forward to fatherhood, I found myself rushing to go back home, since I had to beat my son’s sleep curfew if I wanted to squeeze in some play time with him.
Mornings are also more eventful, with me starting my day remembering my wife’s bilin as she leaves for work earlier, while I wait for our stay-out babysitter. Once the babysitter arrives, that’s when I prepare for work in record time so that I can make it to the office at ten in the morning.
Work starts with my team bringing me up to speed with the latest updates, me checking my schedule for the day, and monitoring the team performance. Despite all the tasks, however, at the back of my mind, I’m just hoping I get everything done in time to catch my son awake and spend some time with him.
Being a working father is like being in two different places at the same time.
I’ve had moments when, while holding my kid in my arms, thoughts of work would sometimes catch my attention. Thinking of ongoing projects and tasks aren’t always intentional, especially not in the middle of a game of peekaboo, but it is unavoidable, especially when deadlines are fast approaching. On the flip side, I do admit that there are times at work when I just take a moment and have those first-time father daydreams about spending the weekday with my son.
RareJob does promote work-life-balance, however, so with a little practice, I have learned to focus on my son whenever I am with him and prioritize my work whenever I am at the office.
As I was getting the hang of it, the COVID-19 pandemic situation arose, and RareJob announced the work-from-home scheme that I always wished for. I, for one, thought the pandemic is a blessing is disguise for a first-time dad like me, who wanted nothing but to see his son everyday and witness his milestones!
It didn’t take long until the saying “be careful what you wish for” rung true for me.
Being a work-from-home father is more challenging than I thought.
It is harder to separate the roles of being a father and an employee when working at home.
It amazed me at how there were times when my online meeting was about to begin, and like clockwork, my son also suddenly starts to cry. It doesn’t help that he’s in his curiosity stage, always roaming around and picking up small things he might swallow. It’s like I always had to have one eye trained on him as I made sure all my deliverables for the day were accounted for.
Things did get better eventually, after we got used to this “new normal”, finding a way to get through the daily challenges. My wife and I were able to determine how to work around our son’s needs by taking turns attending to him, all the while working at home. Apart from this, I also find myself fortunate to have an employee-centric employer, as well as a superior who completely understands my situation as a working father during these uncertain times. It also helps a lot that my team members are all amazing and talented; I’m truly grateful that I work with team members whom I can always rely on.
Being a working father and a work-from-home father are both challenging in different ways.
I am grateful that RareJob still gives us the opportunities to work even during this pandemic because not all companies can provide that chance. The company has been so generous in giving out additional incentives that can assist our day-to-day lives where most really had a hard time. RareJob makes it bearable not only to parents like me but to all its employees through this sad situation.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this experience so far, it is to learn to manage my time and priorities. I have also learned to value the teamwork I’ve formed with my wife, which allowed us to simultaneously be great parents to our son, and competent employees to our company.
I do think that for now, I should also live in the moment, cherish every chance I get to spend with my family, and learn from the challenges I experience from being a working (and a work-from-home!) dad.
Take it from the Top: A Veteran’s Eye View
As the company enters its fourth month with majority of its workforce working from home, business continues as usual in what is now considered as the ‘new normal’. As employees ease into the remote work arrangement, top management continues watch over the company to ensure business continuity.
On the Front Lines: Back to the Office
As the quarantine gradually relaxes, more businesses are starting to open their offices once more to keep the economy afloat. While most RareJob Philippines, Inc. employees continue working from home, some have already returned to work from the office, all the while keeping social distancing in place.