Magazine article Working Mother

Men Need Flex, Too

Magazine article Working Mother

Men Need Flex, Too

Article excerpt

Three years ago, I made the transition from a decade as a work-at-home writer/editor to a five-day-a-week office job as a social media manager/content strategist. Before I went all W-2, I dropped off and picked up my kids daily and spent tons of time with them. Often, we all stayed after school and hung out on the playground. It was the most balanced work life equilibrium of my life. I was, in short, spoiled.

Now it's my wife, Lisa (who works for a small, family-run conference production company), who spends most of the time with our 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. And to be totally honest, when I compare her work life to mine, I feel both jealous and a little relieved. Jealous because I'm around the kids much less often, relieved because I don't have to schlep around to school and dance lessons and hockey practice and all the rest. (Weekday afternoons are exhausting on all fronts for her.) I drop the kids off in the morning and then go to work. Period.

When I first started this job, I dreaded asking if I could work at home to, say, nurse a sick child or attend a milestone school event. I tried to pretend this didn't bother me, but it did. Oh, the time and energy I wasted worrying, and strategizing!

Here's a stupid thing about men: We don't like to admit we need support. The grand old tradition of American self-reliance suggests we should be able to do things and then stoically live with the consequences. But this shouldn't always be the case. We need to feel okay to advocate for work life balance.

Today, I don't worry. My current boss, who happens to be a working dad, understands. …

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