Ella with her hat on, ready to play with Dad.

THE words came out of Princess Ella’s mouth so casually, but they cut like a knife. It happened as I was preparing myself for work on Sunday morning, with my three-year-old quietly watching on.

The first words out of her mouth were to soften me up. “Why are you going to work today, Dad?,’’ she said simply. Now normally, I’m a Monday-to-Friday professional, leaving Saturday and Sunday to spend blissfully with my princesses. However, there are occasions when I’m required to work Sunday to Thursday.

“Daddy has to work today, but he’ll be able to spend Friday and Saturday with you this week, does that sound good?,’’ I said. Then, Ella went “WHACK”. “Not good enough Dad,’’ she said in much the same tone as her mother would address her after finding texta on the curtains (again). Those words and the look on her face knocked the wind out of me.

Now, I’m confident enough to know I maintain a pretty good work/life balance, but it still hurt me to think I’d disappointed my little girl by trotting off to work on a day she’d normally spend tormenting me in a million different ways. In a strange way too, it also made me feel good that she enjoys my company and is not sick of me yet (my guess is that will come in her teenage years).

Unfortunately, Princess Ella is going to have to get used to the idea she has a dad who works hard to provide things for the family. I enjoy my time with her and make sure there’s plenty of it, despite having a busy workload and some other community commitments, but it always has been, and will be, “family first”.

How do you manage your work/life balance?

Helena from New-Age Retro Mum debates Should Both Parents Be Home?

Feli from My Life In Mono, having just returned to work this month, discusses The Working Mum.

Read more from The Shed.

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3 Responses to SHED: When life gets in the way

  1. My husband works Monday to Friday – a regular week, and most mornings, our little toddler wakes up asking where his Dad is & crying when I tell him he’s gone to work.
    Despite that knowledge, and wanting to stay home himself, my husband is having a difficult time transitioning from regular consulting work to working from home.

    It’s a mindset thing – while it’s acceptable for women to stay at home, Men are expected to have a job and go out to work. This social view of a mans role in the family will only change once more and more men make the switch and create opportunities for themselves at home (if that is something they want & their area of interest supports that).


    I feel extremely blessed I am in a position which gives Kel the freedon to support and nurture our family as she sees fit. I know we’d both happily switch roles if we were able to or wanted to as well. I’d love to be a house dad and have the best of both worlds one day.
    For the present though, Ella is going to have to get used to the fact her timetable may change every now and then.
    Hope it all works out for you guys too!

  3. Cheryle says:

    as a single parent with two jobs its not unlikley to spend 50 or more hours in the office in any given 7 day period . i struggle with the work life balance but remain dedicated and focus on the child once with her . and dont bring work or uni out until she is resting . i look forward to more posts on this subject in the future .

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