Parenting with a partner takes time to find that groove between the two of you. There is a whole lot more to raising kids than people realize until they’re already in the thick of it, and it can be off-balanced sometimes. One working dad wrote a viral LinkedIn post where he realized just how unbalanced one aspect of parenting was in his life, but honestly, I don’t know how he didn’t realize this sooner?
CEO Daniel Maloney wrote a LinkedIn post about a visit he made to his daughter’s pre-K classroom and what he learned, and it went viral quickly. At first glance, it’s a sweet message and a good reminder that we could always be reflecting on what we’re doing. But, to be honest, I’m sitting here reading it and just thinking, DUH?
Maloney used his lunch break to head to his kid’s classroom to be the parent reader for that day, something he had not done before. “My wife went a couple times already this school year, but I never thought to sign-up,” Daniel wrote in his post. “After the holidays, our daughter started an ‘I don’t want to go to school’ phase…I signed up to see if I could turn that ship around.”
So, dad went to his kid’s school, and in his post, he shared just how much his daughter seemed to love having him there. And he made note to mention that the teacher really emphasized to the students that he was a dad, and “the kids looked stunned” to hear a father was reading to the class that day. “I just looked at the sign-up sheet for the month,” Daniel explained. “17 moms so far; no other dads.
He finishes his post saying. “I’m sad/ashamed that I didn’t get involved sooner, but will definitely sign up again,” adding that he knows work will be there when he returns to the office, and he had a “great experience.”
He’s not wrong here, and it isn’t the most common for the dad to be the classroom reader. But it took him to see the reaction of the class and see the 17 to 1 ratio of moms to dads on a sheet of paper to realize just how unbalanced certain parts of parenting is—that’s what has me feeling my eyes roll a little here.
Studies have shown that fathers are more involved in parenting now than ever before. Surveys have also shown that half of all dads wish they could spend more time with their kids than they do, and work-life balance is what is the most significant barrier. But these same studies show that there is still a significant imbalance between how many hours mom is involved in parenting, while also juggling work too.
Maloney is totally right; it would be fantastic if more dads could be involved in parenting and have a better work-life balance. And anytime they can pop in and be the classroom reader the better. But, let’s not pretend that this imbalance discovery is anything new.