My Father's Day Resolution

father and daughter hugging.
I never believed in New Year's resolutions. Even as a child, I remember shaking my head and rolling my eyes whenever a friend would divulge their post January 1st plans. I would silently groan whenever someone would tell me in December how the New Year would be all about change. "No more junk food," they would say, taking a bite out of their triple cheeseburger with fries. "Next month, I'm giving all of this up for good...oh, please pass the ketchup." Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for people turning over a new leaf, making smarter decisions, and making positive changes that affect their lives. But I also think that resolutions should be impactful, long lasting, and more than a quick fix. This is why I am unveiling my new idea: The Father's Day Resolution.

The Best Dad I Can Be

And what does this resolution entail? Nothing more or less  than being the best dad I can be to my kids. That's it. No fifty-two week timeline. No new membership to buy. No date to focus on. Start now, and don't ever stop doing what you need to do. It's funny. As the father of three (with a fourth on the way), I must say that Father's Day means a lot more to me now than I ever thought it would.  There is something amusingly sacred about a day that  will start with waking up to my three little ones running into my room with their little construction paper cut-out cards, being treated to lunch at THEIR favorite restaurant (somehow I pick up the tab), and end with me modeling the crazy pastel colored neckties they have picked out at the mall for me with their mother. Is it a commercial event? Perhaps. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

My Home, Work, and Life as a Working Dad

A few weeks ago I read an article that said that work/life balance was a thing of the past, and that today, our goal should be "work/life integration." There is a lot I could write about the differences between the two. But, regardless of what you call it, the bottom line is that as a father my focus should not be figuring out ways to incorporate work into my home life, but ensuring that "home" always remains a priority even when I am at work. How does that happen? I admit that I'm very lucky to work for a company like Bright Horizons with a culture that not only understands, but embraces and encourages employees to focus on family. For example, as a manager who has staff members out on the west coast, I try and leave my office early on certain days to spend the early evening with my kids. I know that I can take calls with my west coast team later in the evening from home, since they are two hours behind me. A few years ago, I would have taken those calls from the office, working a 10-12 hour day away from my kids.  Do my kids mind that I am on a conference call at 6 p.m? Not really, since at 4 p.m. I was playing video games with them after picking them up from school. On other days, I make sure that I'm the one to take my kids to school, so my wife can have the morning to herself, and then I head into the office later in the day. I'm lucky to have supervisors who know that 9-5, 10-6 and 11- 7 are all the same, as long as the job is getting done.

Join Me in Prioritizing Your Children

I completely understand that not all employers allow for that type of flexibility, and you may be reading this thinking that my situation is a lot different than yours. But at the end of the day, while we may not fully control our own schedules, we DO fully control our own priorities. And I would venture to say that a father making their child a priority is a pretty good investment. It's just a matter of putting the time and energy into figuring out the best way to make that happen. So to all the dads out there, I invite you to join me in making a Fathers Day resolution this year. It's a resolution worth making, and it's one that will make you enjoy those pastel polka dot ties you receive on Sunday that much more.  

Everyone wins when employers support their working families. Employees are more loyal, engaged, and productive at work, while employers realize significant business results from providing programs like child care and back-up care to their workforce. Bright Horizons encourages employers to consider work/life supports for employees like Jay click here to learn more about the programs we offer.  
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
father and daughter hugging.

Subscribe to the On the Horizon Newsletter