Aka: “I’m going to be late” DadWorks: City centre Lives: Suburbs Nine-to-five Dad’s youngest child thinks his father’s a train driver because he’s always phoning from the train. He avoids long hours at the office, but still gets home late because he commutes 45 minutes each way – on a good day. By the time nine-to-five Dad gets home, he’s stressed and exhausted. However hard he tries to be back for bath time, he’s invariably late or irritable. Dislikes: Leaves on the line, signal failure, other passengers, the exorbitant price of his season ticket, commuting. Wishes: He could work closer to home and have more time for his family.
Aka: “I’ve lost the signal” Dad Works: On the move Lives: Near a motorway Travelling Dad is always on the move between clients. He does much of his work in laybys, service stations and coffee shops, struggling to balance phone, laptop and papers on a tiny table or on his steering wheel. Traffic congestion means he often misses the children’s bedtime, and leaves home early in the morning – certainly too early to do the school run, and frequently before the children are up. Dislikes: Contraflows, roadworks, service station coffee prices. Wishes: He had somewhere decent to make calls and do admin. And that he could be better-tempered at kids’ bed time.
Aka: “Up in the air” Dad Works: All over the place Lives: Near an airport Invisible Dad’s children see him on Skype more often than in the flesh. He dutifully brings back Toblerones from the airport and the latest techno-gadgets from the Far East. He also has 200,000 airmiles, which pay for good long-haul holidays, and he gets great upgrades on car hire and hotels. But he suspects his children would rather he was there for their birthdays or school plays. Dislikes: Pretzels, air traffic controllers’ strikes and slow airport security checks. Wishes: He spent less time in hotels.
Aka: “Solopreneur” Dad Works: In the spare room Lives: Anywhere Work-at-home Dad and his family were delighted when he set up a business. They had visions of Dad combining hands-on parenting with the satisfaction of working for himself. But he hadn’t anticipated the annoying background noise of children’s daytime TV, and he struggles with the lack of space, administrative back-up and networking opportunities. Even though he’s available to look after children, he’s always distracted and glued to his mobile or another piece of technology. Dislikes: CBeebies, IT helplines. Wishes: There were a way to combine the flexibility of being his own boss with a better working environment.
Aka: “Have-it-all” Dad Works: Flexibly Lives: Anywhere Super Dad not only knows the name of his children’s teachers, he has also helped on school trips. He takes the children to school three mornings a week, and usually manages not to check his Blackberry on the way. Super Dad works some days in the office, and some at a local business centre. If there’s a childcare emergency, he works at home. The arrangement suits him, his family and his employer. Dislikes: The attitude that family-friendly working practices are only for women. Wishes: There were more dads to talk to in the school playground.
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