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Working Dads Must Learn to Balance Family and Work Pressures:

AMY WINTER

WRITERS SYNDICATE

Moms aren’t the ones experiencing stress from the tough economy. Working dads are also feeling the pressure from bigger workloads and have less time to spend with their families. Adding even more pressure to family life, one in 10 working dads say that their spouse has become unemployed in the last year, according to a CareerBuilder survey that questioned 800 respondents. And 42 percent of dads are the only financial provider in their family.

Some working dads have taken on a second job in order to provide for their families. Having two jobs leaves little time to spend with their spouse and children. Thirty-seven percent of respondents are only able to see their children two hours or less per workday. And unfortunately, 35 percent of working dads missed two or more important occasions in their child’s life during the last year.

Company layoffs haven’t helped with worker stress levels. A smaller staff means more work and hours for most employees. It is difficult to maintain a healthy work/life balance when dads are putting in over 40 hours a week, including taking assignments home. Thirty percent of respondents admit that they have to work on projects during the weekends.

“Especially in tough times, working dads have to be more creative and strategic to successfully juggle both work and family commitments,” says Jason Ferrara, vice president of CareerBuilder’s corporate marketing and father of two. “Employers understand the importance of working dads’ time away from the office and continue to place an emphasis on work/life balance through benefits that encourage employees to better manage their schedules.

“However, year over year, we find that nearly half of working dads do not take advantage of the flexible work arrangements offered to them.”

Ferrara provides suggestions for working dads to create a better work/life balance:

• Communicate. Keep the lines of communication open with your family. Listen to what your family has been up to and fill them in on your office duties.

• Say no. Try to figure out which additional work events you can turn down and which activities are very important to attend.

• Make a family calendar. Put everyone’s schedule on the calendar. That way, your family will know you have to attend a certain event. Request vacation days at work in order to be present at important family occasions.

• Suggest a family event with co-workers. Plan a potluck or another activity with co-workers and their families.

• Take time to play. Put your work away until your children go to bed.

Dads deserve a break this Father’s Day. Hopefully, they can learn to maintain a better work/life balance and experience less stress this year.

For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Contact the editor

opinion@smmirror.com

in Opinion
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