With the shift to working from home giving dads the opportunity to spend more time with their children, the challenge of striking a balance between work and family over the last two years has given some of them new perspectives on fathers.
While navigating fatherhood during the Pandemic meant also working a full-time job and taking online courses, for Elgin Oliver, a dad of two who lives in Missouri, that meant also working a full time job and taking online courses.
Oliver said that it was difficult to have time to sit down and do his schoolwork and still try to help out around the house.
It’s not what you do, it’s more of the time you spend with them, and I have learned that our bond has grown and strengthened,” he said.
dads reflected on the impact of their kids learning remotely
All meals are eaten at home, so you have to shift your role from being a dad to being a teacher, a gym instructor, a nutritionist, and so on. Lance Somerfeld, a father of two who lives in New York, said that the family was together for just about all three meals a day.
42% of fathers and 42% of mothers said difficulties in child care responsibilities resulted from the Pandemic, according to a February survey by the Pew Research Center. A survey in October 2020 had the same results.
There is no separation between home and office for home workers.
Many fathers had no separation between their homes and their offices because of the swine flu.
Austin Lieberman, a father of three living in Florida, said that his children don’t understand the concept of work if they’re young.
The stress of working from home and managing more child care responsibilities led to dads looking to each other for support.
Call of Duty Black Dads was started by Oliver and his friend to shed light on the experiences of Black fathers. They kept a record of their concerns as parents.
There are groups for dads to connect in.
Others have looked to dad-focused groups to foster a sense of community and connect with each other.
According to Somerfeld, the organization has grown into a network of 24,000 fathers in over 40 cities nationwide.
Sean Leacy, a dad of four and organizer for the Puget Sound Dads Group, said: “With more and more dads coming into the home because of remote work, it’s really given an opportunity for fathers.”
Leacy said that being able to be a part of the groups has been huge.
The Pandemic gave dads an opportunity to reflect on the limited time they had to themselves, and to remember the moments they might not have otherwise spent with their kids.
Somerfeld said that he was grateful for some of the moments that he had on his own where he could steal some of the time that he had sacrificed.
“I think a lot of it is just appreciation of what we have, of our health, of this special time that we had with our kids, that we’ll never have that much time with them again.” All rights reserved.