As a parent, finding the perfect work-life balance can often seem impossible. Worse, it’s typically only after we miss out on one of our kid’s special moments that this truly hits home.
This was the case for father Daniel Maloney who recently shared a post on LinkedIn that has since made its way around the web. In it, the marketing professional shares a lesson you’d typically expect to find on Facebook and not a site focused on business. However, it’s business that almost made the successful CEO overlook a simple but important meeting that would forever change his perspective.
Maloney has held positions at top tech companies like Google and AOL, but a recent epiphany has proven much more valuable than many of the things he learned along the way. It’s about that work-life balance and how as dads, we can often overlook simple opportunities to truly connect with our kids. Something as simple as reading a book.
“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,” Maloney shared. It’s a common occurrence for many dads who still see themselves in the roles their own fathers occupied — often putting work before all else.
It wasn’t until his daughter entered an “I don’t want to go to school” phase that Maloney decided to take action. “I signed up to see if I could help turn that ship around.” When the day arrived, Maloney was shocked by the reaction — both from his daughter as well as the entire class. “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,” adding “My daughter put her mat right up front and had a huge smile on her face the whole time.”
Turns out not many dads come in for storytime. “I just looked at the signup sheet for the month. 17 moms so far; no other dads,” Maloney shared. “I’m sad/ashamed that I didn’t get involved sooner, but will definitely sign up again. It was a great experience.”
Several other parents, many CEOs themselves, chimed in with their own experiences, applauding Maloney and anyone else who’s able to find ways to be as present as possible.
Maloney ending his post with an important mantra for all parents to remember:
“Work will be there when I get back to the office.”