Becoming a dad is one of the most rewarding things in life but also one of the most challenging. Many changes occur when you become a dad as you now have an individual that is reliant on you, looks to you for advice, looks to you as a role model, and you are now an integral part of a family.
While all these things change when you become a dad, you are also the same individual you once were. This dichotomy can be difficult to navigate, and many dads can have difficulty finding a life balance between being a good father, pursuing their hobbies, being a good partner, and staying on top of their work.
Being a dad is a unique experience; sometimes, it can seem like you aren’t quite milking life for all its worth. Below is a closer look at some great hacks for dads to help them get the most out of each facet of their lives.
How can I get the most out of my family time?
One of the most rewarding things in life as a dad is being there with your family. Watching your child's first steps, going on family road trips, and spending time with those you love are the most cherished memories. If you asked most dads, they'd likely tell you they'd much rather be at home with their family than anything else.
As a working parent or a parent in general, it can sometimes be difficult to get the most out of your time with your family. Below is a closer look at some tried and true dad hacks to get the absolute most out of your time with your family.
When it comes to being a parent, it can sometimes be difficult to connect as a family. In today's day and age, almost all members of the family fall victim to looking at screens instead of one another. Smartphone addiction is real, and it can be problematic for general well-being and your ability to connect with others. Sitting around the dinner table can sometimes feel like you are sitting at a table with strangers as everyone is in their own bubble.
An excellent hack is to implement distraction-free zones where phones and other sources of distraction are put away. A great time to implement this is during meals. Having a phone-free family mealtime can be a great way to check in and connect. A family meal time with everyone present has been shown to have a number of health benefits for children, according to a 2017 study conducted in Montreal.
Having a routine of having quality time with one another surrounding meals is a great hack for connecting more with your family and getting the most out of the time you have with them. As a bonus, you can utilize this distraction-free environment to create family goals.
When two individuals become parents, it can be quite a jarring transition as the attention goes from one another to caring for a child. In the beginning, it can seem like parents are like ships in the night, taking turns to get up in the middle of the night to change diapers. While this stage of life is temporary, sometimes couples find it difficult to reinstate some romance.
Designate a day every week or every other week where you go on a date night with your significant other. Prioritizing quality time with your partner is essential in keeping your relationship alive and demonstrates what a healthy relationship looks like to your children.
Having the moment of escape with your fellow partner could be just the break you need to not have a breakdown.
Enjoy the small moments
Being a dad isn’t always the most invigorating experience, but there tend to be a ton of tiny moments throughout the day that are worth cherishing. One of the best hacks for dads in family life is to enjoy the small things and be present in the current moment when you are with your family.
Practicing mindfulness tends to be easier said than done, especially as a parent. Children crying, worrying about the future, and having a million things on your plate certainly don’t help. Some techniques you can utilize as a parent to support your mental wellbeing include meditation, mindful walking, and focusing on your breathing. In addition to being more present, mindfulness has several benefits, including improving your subjective wellbeing, supporting behavioral regulation, and decreasing emotional reactivity, according to a 2011 study.
How can I be more engaged in interests and hobbies?
Many people fear parenthood as they think that they need to give up their hobbies and the things they love to do. While having a child certainly eats up a lot of your free time, there are still ways you can pursue your interest and hobbies even as a father. Below is a closer look at some hacks for dads to enjoy their hobbies while still fulfilling their other obligation as integral members of their families.
Get the family involved
One of the ultimate hacks for enjoying your hobbies as a dad is to get your family involved. A great example is if you enjoy tinkering with your car. Rather than seclude yourself in the garage, have your family help you. More likely than not, your child will be eager to help, and you will also teach them many things, such as for them to prioritize their hobbies, how to work on their car, and a wide range of other skills.
Schedule in your hobbies
When including the family isn’t an option, the next best hack is to schedule a time with your partner where you can enjoy your hobby, whatever it may be. When you schedule this time with your partner, you could divide caring for your child up in a way where you get the time you want, and your partner also gets time to themselves.
How can I get the most out of work?
Working as a dad is not easy, but it is necessary to support the family financially and to maintain and further your career. Many people think that becoming a parent means that you are making concessions in your career, but the reality is that there are many successful dads out there.
Being a working dad is certainly not an easy task. At the end of a grueling work day, instead of kicking your feet up, you come home to help prepare dinner for your child, help with school work, and several other responsibilities. Below is a closer look at some hacks and tips that can help you with your work-life balance and help you to get the most out of your work.
Pull the Dad card
When people become dads, they sometimes try their best to conceal their new identity in the workplace. While they may think this ensures that their coworkers and superiors don’t view them any differently, ultimately, this is doing them a disservice. Being a dad is something you should be proud of, and letting your place of business know this can benefit you.
Pulling the dad card is sometimes needed if your child gets sick, hurt, needs to come home early, or for any other reason. Having your workplace know that you are a father can make them a little more understanding if you need to take off for any reason involving your child or if you need to take a half-day.
Maintain work-life balance
Maintaining a work-life balance is perhaps the most important hack as a dad. Some dads find themselves swamped with work to the point that it takes away time from their families. Taking the time to set clear expectations with your place of employment is one of the most important things you can do to facilitate a good work-life balance. Informing them that you will not respond to emails after hours, that your hours are fixed due to family commitments, and that you are unavailable on vacations are some good places to start.
Remind yourself what you are doing it all for
Many people consider having a family as something that can slow down your career, but one great hack involves utilizing your family as a motivator to get your work done efficiently and effectively. When you start a career, it tends to be mostly for yourself, but when you become a dad, suddenly you have a family depending on you, which can act as a powerful motivator for you to improve your productivity.
Getting the most out of life is not an easy task as dads wear many different hats. They are fathers, partners, and workers, and getting the most out of these facets of life is not easy. With the help of some life hacks for dads mixed with a little hard work and elbow grease can enable dads to live a fulfilling life.
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