1 September 2023

Working Dads and Balancing Acts: The Secret to Making it Work

In celebration of Father’s Day, we recently spoke with one of our participants, a former ADF and transitioned WA Police Officer has written a chapter for “Working Dads and Balancing Acts: The Secret to Making it Work” collated by Sarah Maconachie.

Following the birth of a second child, the participant wrote, “Life was chaos. Yes, actual chaos. For a short time, I balanced frontline police duties (on a three-panel shift – days, afternoons, nights), and sole ‘dadding’ a two-year-old and a six-month-old.”

“Policing is not an industry that is flexible the way some other roles are. But A decade in policing had taught me crisis management.”

“The trick was realising that you were always going to get through the day, and sometimes cereal is ok for dinner. Its about balance, not a restful Zen, we are talking parenting, its about sitting down before bed, reflecting on the million tasks that were meant to happen, realising the important ones were done, the kids had clothes for the next day, there was milk in the fridge (litres and litres of it, a whole shelf, not a door sleeve, a shelf), and the other tasks can wait or didn’t really need doing.”

“The only advice I can give with any passion is; be kind to yourself, don’t measure your success on other people’s circumstances, reach out for help, dads’ groups are there because there is a need for them, lean on your entitlements, use your EAP’s.”

“As a dad you get to shape reality for your kids, you set the example of how to act, what is worth your time, how to treat your peers, what relationships look like. It sounds overwhelming but it’s like all of life’s gifts; it’s a series of adventures, there will be some hard bits, some funny bits, some sad, scary, joyous, and brilliant moments. Being a dad is by far my most dominant identity trait and I am proud of it; you should be too.”