Juggling work and family , from the eyes of work from home dads
Father's Day is a special occasion in honouring incredible dads, who tirelessly provide support, love and guidance to their families.
In recent years, economic shifts have contributed to a new view of fatherhood. The evolving nature of the modern workplace has given rise to a new breed of fathers; work from home dads. This has become a new norm, what more since the pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way people work.
In today's fast-paced world, working from home has become a common and viable option for many professionals. For fathers, this shift has opened up new doors, enabling them to be more present in their children's daily lives.
Moreover, work from home dads have the opportunity to challenge traditional gender roles and contribute to the evolution of fatherhood.
By actively engaging in childcare, housework, and other domestic responsibilities, they help dismantle outdated stereotypes and pave the way for more equitable parenting partnerships.
For Mirza Afiq Beg Mirza Md Tariq Beg, he said his biggest advantage of being a work-from-home dad is watching his kids grow.
"Distractions? Yes, there are many but I got used to the situation because everyday it’s the same routine, so I know when to step in and out from the work zone to get into father mode," he said.
However, being a work from home dad does not spare him from facing prejudice. Mirza said he often received comments like “this is an easy job”.
"During my early days of being a WFH dad, people were saying that this was easy.
"People feel that I can manage things easily, run quick errands in between and things like that," said Mirza who works in the private sector as a regional social media lead.
But working from home has been a plus point for him and his family as he gets to spend more quality time together.
"I learned how to be hands on with my kids, for example, changing diapers, getting them for morning showers and feeding them. I feel like there is a stronger bond from that.
"I am embracing it, being a work from home dad is definitely a different experience, not a bad one of course. I enjoy it.
"At the end of the day, when you recall the moment and situation, working and being a dad at the same time is something I would cherish in my life," he said.
Another work from home dad, journalist Azzman Jamal said working from home allows him to be a better husband and father.
"My overall parenting with my kids is the same, but working from home enables me to do more chores.
"When it comes to cooking, my wife and I will do it equally. I will do the preparation and my wife will do the cooking.
"Hence, working from home allows me to be more present and engaged.”
Azzman further said that he would set aside some quality time with his kids while working from home, for example, during lunch hour.
"If my kids are at home, I usually will do my work while letting them play or watch television under my supervision.
"But I will have to stop working when it's time for lunch as I need to feed my one year old son," he said.
When asked about the stereotypes and misconceptions he faced while being a work from home dad, Azzman said there were actually none as working from home has become a new norm.
"I don’t think there are any stereotypes for work from home dads because many of them understand that this is the new trend of working due to Covid-19," he said.
Talking on how he would manage his time between work responsibilities and role as a father, Azzman said his wife shares some work burden which helps him to manage his tasks easily.
"I usually will start my work around 8.30am after I send my kids to school and nursery and I have to finish my work by 5.30pm before I pick them up.
"If I’m unable to complete my work before 5.30pm, I will wait for my wife to return so I can focus on finishing my assignments," he said.
However, he does agree that the distractions while working from home does prove to be a challenge in completing his tasks on time. However, he tries his best to manage things efficiently.
As we celebrate Father's Day, it's important to recognise and appreciate the unique journey of work from home dads, who have taken on the challenge of balancing professional endeavors with their vital role as fathers.
Their commitment to being nurturing, involved fathers sets a positive example for future generations, fostering a society where caregiving is shared, and family dynamics are more inclusive and balanced.
So, here's to the work from home dads—a source of inspiration and incredible role models. Happy Father's Day!