Back to Blog

Fathers in focus – “We are in this together”.

We keep hearing this phrase ‘we are in this together’, and it is true.

As lockdown progressed through the weeks and more and more of the colleagues, clients and contacts I spoke with via video conference had the pleasure of meeting my children, I wondered about the titular phrase.

Our obligations to our community are all the same; maintain social distancing, abstaining from seeing loved ones and adhering to the other measures designed to minimise transmission of Covid-19. However, it is less clear whether the impact on our personal lives has been doled out in equal measure.  With Father’s Day 2020 approaching on 21 June, I asked some other working dads to share their stories of life before lockdown, how they have handled the past 3-4 months and whether that has created any aspirations for them in future.

Each of these working dads has faced the challenge of balancing family and work life that many others will have also experienced since March. These stories put into real words some of those challenges; from health and financial wellbeing to increasing parental responsibility. I am indebted to them for their openness and candour. It is my hope that their succinct stories will allow others to reflect and to promote mutual respect and understanding.  Time to put fathers in focus.


Gary, Customer Relationship Manager

Before the pandemic, how did you find juggling your responsibilities as a father (or father-to-be) and working life?

As a relatively new father, I found it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Each day I would leave the house before my daughter woke and return just in time for her to get a bath and go to bed. I have a fairly demanding job, in a business which operates 24/7 and managing a team which works 7 days per week – this can make it difficult to switch off when out of the office. Ultimately, I wasn’t spending as much quality time with my daughter as I wanted to and was overly reliant on my wife to make plans.

How have you found being a working father during the coronavirus pandemic?

Personally I feel like I have been a better father during this period. I have been working remotely for a couple of months now and this has given me time back that would previously have been spent on my commute. I’ve enjoyed reinvesting this time towards Jessica and my own physical health. From feeding her meals to simply playing with her for a few minutes while I take a break from the laptop. I feel like our relationship is growing quickly than it would do otherwise while my wife is also benefitting from the support.

What are your aspiration for the future, once lockdown is lifted, regarding your work-life balance?

Once lockdown is lifted I plan to ensure the ‘new normal’ includes more frequent remote working. I am fortunate that my employer is generally flexible towards this and has already demonstrated an appetite to encourage this when we return to normality. The additional time I have spent with my daughter during this period has meant I feel like I am doing a better job as a father while also committing time to look after myself and my wife. This in turn, has led to a positive frame of mind and improved the quality of my work.


Gordon, Architect

Before the pandemic, how did you find juggling your responsibilities as a father (or father-to-be) and working life?

Juggling responsibilities between work and the needs of my pregnant wife was quite challenging. I would try and make sure my wife was always top priority. However, this is quite difficult in a corporate world and explaining this to your boss or a client – there is very little sympathy. I never did complain about it and always managed to find a way to keep everyone happy.  

How have you found being a working father during the coronavirus pandemic?

I have actually enjoyed the experience. Our new born arrived in mid-April – a few weeks into the lockdown. It has been nice to spend much more quality time than I would have probably had in a normal situation. Working from home means I get an extra 2 hours back to spend precious time with my son – that would normally be spent on my commute.

What are your aspiration for the future, once lockdown is lifted, regarding your work-life balance?

I have always tried to be a great believer that although careers goals and aspirations can be considered important, Family always has to come first. The current situation that we find ourselves in, has really emphasised this attitude. As my late gran always said. “Work to Live, don’t ever Live to Work”


Pearse, Dentist and Business Owner

 Before the pandemic, how did you find juggling your responsibilities as a father (or father-to-be) and working life?

Finding the balance between work and home life prior to the pandemic has always been challenging. I’m luckier than most because I have a short commute to work and have a half day once a week so I can spend time with my daughter. Despite this my business takes up the majority of the rest of my time including some time at the weekends to catch up. After a busy week at work it can be hard to switch off and drop back into parent mode. 

 How have you found being a working father during the coronavirus pandemic?

Working has been pretty much impossible during the pandemic which has given me so much more time with my daughter and wife. Although it can be stressful in lock down with a toddler, we have had so much fun together. When we look back at the last 2 or 3 months I think the overriding sentiment will be one of happiness and gratefulness; firstly that we have all remained healthy and also that we have had so much quality time together. Our daughter has grown and progressed so much over this time period and it’s been a privilege to be there to experience it all first-hand. When I’ve had to work it’s been difficult to get uninterrupted periods to focus however I’m lucky enough that my workload has been relatively light. I think if I had to work normal hours if would have been unmanageable.

What are your aspiration for the future, once lock down is lifted, regarding your work-life balance?

I would like to try and find a better work/life balance after lock down has been lifted. I’ve been lucky that I’ve had almost 3 months of time with my daughter which probably equates to 1 year of weekends which is incredible.  I would like to continue to finding more time to spend with her during these precious years.


Andrew, Strategic Planner

Before the pandemic, how did you find juggling your responsibilities as a father (or father-to-be) and working life?

Pre-lockdown looking back I feel I had a healthy routine with work/family life. Our childcare for the kids (4 and 1) involved a mixture of nursery and grandparents which meant I could go to work and also have some time to myself to go to the gym, cinema, out for dinner with my wife etc.

How have you found being a working father during the coronavirus pandemic?

Challenging. My wife and I both work full-time and still are, however we now have to plan our working weeks around also watching the kids and entertaining them throughout the day as we don’t have an alternative. As difficult as this is I am spending much more time with them which is great as we are building an even stronger relationship.

What are your aspiration for the future, once lockdown is lifted, regarding your work-life balance?

Once lockdown is lifted there will no doubt still be many restrictions in place and working from home will almost become the new norm. I don’t actually mind this as I like getting to see my kids anytime throughout the day and get to see them develop and reach different milestones which I might have missed out on if I had been at work all week.


Donnie, Senior Software Engineer

Before the pandemic, how did you find juggling your responsibilities as a father (or father-to-be) and working life?

Careful planning and an understanding employer helped me manage a successful work/family balance.  Where possible I always try and work around the kids to make sure I missed none of those significant childhood milestones. 

How have you found being a working father during the coronavirus pandemic?

A total nightmare. Looking after two young children – 5 and 7 – while my wife worked in a covid hospital ward has led to a set of interesting challenges that I did not expect to encounter. The ability to fully concentrate on anything for more than 10 minutes without interruption during the day has been almost impossible. 

What are your aspiration for the future, once lockdown is lifted, regarding your work-life balance?

I will throw a party once the schools return! On a serious note I do think that I had a great work/life balance pre covid and I would like to return to that or as close as possible. 


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Blog