Daniel Maloney, a CEO and dad, recently opened up about how important it is for fathers, namely working dads, to be as active in their kids' day-to-day lives as possible in a poignant post to LinkedIn. After recently attending an activity at his daughter's school in the middle of the work day, Daniel's eyes were opened to just how important being able to juggle a career and parenting evenly is.
"Hey dads with school-aged kids: sharing a reflection that hit me pretty hard today about work-life balance," he wrote. "My daughter's pre-K class has 'Chapter time' where parents can read to the class for 20-30 minutes as they settle in for their nap. My wife went a couple times already this school year, but I never thought to sign-up. After the holidays, our daughter started an 'I don't want to go to school' phase. Why? She doesn't like chapter time. It's too long. Too quiet. And naps are for babies."
Anxious to help his daughter make the most of her education, Daniel figured he'd step in to see what chapter time is all about. "I signed up to see if I could help turn that ship around," he said. "So, today I spent my lunchtime reading a couple chapters to her class. My daughter put her mat right up front and had a huge smile on her face the whole time. Why didn't I do this sooner?"
While there, Daniel had a revelation — and though it doesn't apply to every dad, every school, or every family, for him, it was a big one. Out of the entire class, he realized was the only father who had signed up to participate in Chapter Time. Upon further reflection, he admitted how big of a problem that is.
"As I was leaving, something else occurred to me. When I walked in, the teacher who introduced me made a point of emphasizing: 'Kate's DAD is here to read to us.' The kids looked stunned," said Daniel. "I just looked at the signup sheet for the month. 17 moms so far; no other dads. I'm sad/ashamed that I didn't get involved sooner, but will definitely sign up again. It was a great experience. Work will be there when I get back to the office."