Being a Working Dad, Cultivating Non-Working Parenthood
June 21, 2023
The modern world presents working parents with an ever-present challenge – the delicate act of balancing the demands of their careers with their familial responsibilities. But is it even possible to build a balance between work and parenthood? Or… does it even exist?
Today, Paweł, a dedicated father of three and a highly accomplished Blockchain Researcher, shares his insightful perspective and experiences in an exclusive interview. Join us as we delve into Paweł's journey of successfully managing his parental and professional role at ULAM LABS.
There are tons of articles about balancing parenthood and work. Is it possible to obtain such balance?
Honestly I have a problem when I hear about balancing parenthood and work. For me, there is no such balance, I separate these two with a thick line.
I want to be seen by my kids as more than just a working parent. From their perspective, if we are working while they are at school, it may feel like we are not working at all.
And that’s how I want them to remember me as a dad, for sure not as a working dad.
What are some of the challenges you face in juggling those two roles?
One significant challenge I face is the fact that you cannot postpone work for later due to the responsibilities that come with being a dad. After completing my professional commitments, I have the immediate need to take care of my kids, which leaves little room for delays at work.
Personally, I have no heart to turn to cartoons to finish my work in the afternoon. While the quantity of time spent with my children may be limited due to work demands, I make it a priority to focus on quality time together.
What one word describes combining the role of a dad and a working parent?
For me, the one word that perfectly captures the essence of this combination is "logistics." You need to perfectly manage schedules and allocate time accordingly to both your family activities and your work.
What strategies or techniques do you employ to manage your time effectively between your work and family?
First of all, I moved closer to my children's schools. This reduces commuting time and can ease main logistical challenges. Each day I plan my trip to work in a way to do the kid’s drop off on time. And it’s quite a challenge when you have 3 of them ;)
During the standard day it’s quite simple to manage time. But when you add after school activities, for example rehearsal in the opera in which my daughter participates, it may happen that I work from a coffeehouse.
How does ULAM LABS support and accommodate the needs of working parents?
The elastic hours offered by the company have been a game-changer in balancing my professional responsibilities and my role as a dad. Having the flexibility to adjust my work schedule allows me to attend important events in my children's lives.
Being able to work from home or choose a location that suits our current needs has made a significant difference as well.
I want to be seen by my kids as more than just a working parent. From their perspective, if we are working while they are at school, it may feel like we are not working at all! And that’s how I want them to remember me as a dad, for sure not as a working dad.
In your experience, how has being a dad influenced your approach to work? Are there any specific skills or qualities that you have developed as a result?
I’ve noticed how fast kids learn, and I implemented that skill in my life. Now, if I think about some skills that are unattainable, I look at my kids and I’m impressed by their ability eg. to learn to read. Then I set them as an example and start learning new things myself, with small steps but regularly.
So there is still a space for self development with kids. Many young parents may doubt it!
Sure there is! Self development has gained a new dimension now since I have kids. I would like to avoid the future question of why I didn't move forward while I was encouraging them to do so.
What advice would you give to others who are also working parents, based on your own experiences and lessons learned?
Well, I would advise not to be frustrated that the children are limiting you. Because if you make really small steps each day, try to be a bit better at something daily, in the end you will master that!
Life is made of small phases, and they will pass by. When it is hard, especially at the beginning, I would recommend waiting till it passes by.
Also, our life is made of a lot of tough choices and we need to weigh whatever we do. I recommend always to ask yourself a question “did I make a good choice?” and while answering that question, always think about long term consequences.