Being a working class parent comes with a lot of pressure and challenges. As a parent, there are so many roles you are expected to play which increase with the number of kids you have. You also juggle between being a parent and being a partner, worker (or boss), daughter/son, sibling, relative, and friend. It can get extremely overwhelming and frustrating especially for first time parents, and if these responsibilities are not properly managed, they could result in a drift between parents as spouses and/or their kids.
Acing your goals at work and being the perfect parent requires a lot of planning and determination.
Let’s find out how this father and Security Professional, Ifeanyi Ifebi Emmanuel balances parenting and his career effectively.
“I work as a surveillance person with one of Nigeria’s multinational companies. I have been working there for over 7 years. I am a fun-loving person, an introvert sort of but I enjoy getting to know people, offering words of advice, encouraging them and doing things that will impact their life in a positive way.
I’ve been married for over 6 years now. I have just one child. My job is one that takes me away from my family. My family stays in Lagos and I work in Ogun state, so, most times, I’m not home because I’m working. My child is just 22 months old so I wouldn’t say it’s affecting my bond with him since he’s still little but I believe if I was coming home to him everyday, we would have a much stronger bond.
I’m usually away for a maximum of 6 days. If I leave home on Sunday, I return the following Sunday, spend about 2 days with the family and move again.
Whenever I’m not home, my son is aware. Most times, when I speak to my wife on phone, I hear him shouting, “daddy, daddy” at the background. Some days when he comes to the room and finds out I’m not there, he starts screaming, “daddy, daddy” and his mum is forced to call me via video call so he can see me. I believe once in a while, he tends to miss me when I’m away, and he always finds a way to tell his mum so.
I’m always excited to see him. Although there are days when I come back and he stares at me for some time before getting comfortable around me, but I am always happy to see him.
I think I’m close to my son even though we’re not together all the time. I do my best to spend as much time as I can whenever I’m home. I bathe, feed, and dress him up as much as I can so we could catch up and bond. I try as much as I can to spend enough time with him when I’m home. We play games, football because he really loves football.
Since my job takes me far away , I try to keep up with the latest happenings in my son’s life via video calls, especially if I have an extended stay at work, and when I’m home, I try my best to spend a lot of time with him. We bond more like when I drive him to and from school.
I would say my wife pays more attention to him because she’s always with him. He is very attached to her. Most times when he mumbles some words, she knows exactly what he needs and what he’s trying to say.
My sister-in-law and a young girl from my wife’s family stay with us to help out. Having them around has really helped make things easier since my wife also has a job. When he was born, we had to put him in a creche when he was 3-4 months old but having reliable people around has really helped make things easier for my wife and I. I know if my job wasn’t one that keeps me away from home a lot, I would also join hands to help out as much as I can.
I already had the job before I got married. Honestly, with the current situation of the country, there are certain jobs one can’t turn down especially if the pay is good because you need to take care of the family, but thanks to technology, I have been able to bridge the gap through video calls.
My advice is that couples should sit and talk things out even before marriage. It’s so sad that the society makes people believe that the woman alone should be in charge of the home and the kids, but it shouldn’t be so. What about working class women? How will they cope? I believe couples should talk, share duties, and make adequate plans before kids start coming.”