How Can We As Dads Be More Present At Home?

Even writing this article is a bit hard. Why is that?

I think it’s often easier for us men to just jump to the conclusion and skip the process.

I know I feel that way too many times.

But, I’ve been thinking about how to let work be work and be PRESENT as a dad (and not just in the house).

When Work Is Taking Up All The RAM

My work is extra stressful at the moment as a blogger.

ChatGPT (and other dumb AI tools) are making life a little harder for us who make a living writing.

So, it’s hard to let work be.

That said, it can be equally hard to be present at home when work is AWESOME and the ball is rolling.

Either way, it takes some mental work to be present.

I guess we ALL feel like that from time to time.

Daddy’s Not Here Right Now (But He’s Trying)

Small kids don’t understand work.

It’s just impossible to make them understand that it’s important.
A necessity even!

Here are a few things that I’m trying to do when I have a hard time being present.

Let’s start with the most important step.

Align with your partner.

#1 Let Your Partner Know (Yep – With Words)

I think the most important thing is to get your partner on board.

Let her know where you’re at.

Personally, I typically don’t know that I’m having a hard time being present.
Not until I find myself irritated and frustrated with small things that shouldn’t matter at all.

It helps when I let my wife know that I’m stretched at the moment.

These days, my wife knows she might need to step in and take over when it’s time for brushing little teeth.

It has to be OK to let the other partner take over when you (or she) is getting irritated.

My son LOVES to press on when he feels that I’m about to boil over. It’s like he thinks it’s really funny to see if he can push me over the line.

Time for a break!

#2 Give Yourself 5-Minute Breaks


Sometimes the only right thing to do is to leave the room for a few minutes.

A walk around the block can do wonders!

Go make a coffee and get yourself out of the situation for a moment. A little fresh air goes a long way when you’re having a hard time focusing.

Again – align this with your partner so you don’t need to explain or say a whole lot in the moment.

We’ve agreed that it’s always OK to ask for a walk around the block. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh air can do!

#3 Shift Gears And Propose Something YOU Enjoy

When it’s hard to be present, it’s important to do stuff we actually enjoy!
It can make a huge difference.

Kids LOVE doing stuff with us that they can feel we enjoy.

Maybe a trip to the playground is better or a board game (whatever is your thing)…

ESPECIALLY when we have a hard time being present.

Here are some ideas:

  • Take the kids to a kiosk and buy some candy
  • Fix something in the garden with them
  • Give them a coloring page
  • Put the kids in the tub (and make a coffee)
  • Take a walk together

The most important part here is to figure out what you enjoy doing with your kids.

Think back to your best moments with them – what did you do?

Put Work Stuff Where It Belongs

Don’t have your phone or laptop laying around when you’re home.

It won’t work.

I find myself constantly hovering toward the computer when it’s in the room.

Find somewhere out of sight to place it.

I have written an article on how to not be on the phone when you’re with your kids.

Check that out for some inspiration 😉

Depending on what your work is, you might also need to set limits for other people:

  • Let them know when they can call you
  • Let them know when they can expect email replies
  • etc.

This is especially important if you’re (like most folks these days) partly working from home.

Thanks for reading!

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