As modern families evolve towards more equal caregiving, there are more and more working fathers out there juggling their jobs and caregiving responsibilities. For many parents, dads included, work-life integration is an ongoing process, but with the right resources and plans in place, it is possible to be a caregiving Dad and CEO successfully.
Working With Kids: Dads and the Child Care Crisis
The child care crisis doesn’t just impact working mothers. Fathers across all levels of an organization also come up against obstacles when it comes to balancing their family and professional responsibilities.
While the pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront for many, working dads have always been impacted by an organization’s family leave policies or child care benefits.
For many men, there was long a perception that they were expected to be the provider for their families and that meant prioritizing successl in their careers. Today, that perception has changed. Fathers are active participants in their family’s caregiving strategy, and many want to be both successful in their careers, and present in their childrens’ lives.
So, how you can achieve the perfect balance between being a career-driven CEO and an attentive father?
Here are examples of two real-life successful working fathers: Vivvi Co-founder and CEO,Charles Bonello, and CEO of District of Columbia Bar Bob Spangnoletti.
How to Be a Successful Working Father: Real-Life Stories
“It is all-consuming to be a parent CEO.”–Charles Bonetti, CEO of Vivvi
Charles Bonetti owes his success as a working parent to the resources that he was able to take advantage of when he became a father – his own company.
Having access to child care “has been the most impactful resource as a father. My wife is a nurse and we have three children; I don’t know what I would do for child care if it weren’t for my own company.”
Being able to compartmentalize his roles as CEO and father helps him to give 100% to both roles. In his organization, he believes that delegation also plays a role in helping him to be a successful working parent. “We are all in it together. My colleagues and I have each other’s backs. We’re a supportive community.”
While he didn’t have extensive parental leave, he was able to organize asynchronous work in line with his wife’s schedule. And while he wishes he could have taken a longer parental leave when his babies arrived,, he understands that was one of the trade-offs for being a CEO.
“It’s the reality of running a small business amid a global pandemic,” he says. “You’ve got to show up; that’s me and that is my privilege.”
Charles thinks that the communication and empathy skills that he has learned throughout his career make him a better dad, especially when dealing with his two-year-old. It all comes down to remembering that you are there to support them. If you can’t adequately show up for them as a dad when you are at home, then you can’t be a successful working parent regardless of how many hours you spend in the office.
Charles has been able to embody everything about his journey as a Dad CEO and incorporate it into how he operates his business, how he treats his employees, and the company culture he has built. As he remarks, “One of my primary roles is being the driver of that culture and making sure that it is on message, on point, and is truly authentic to who we are.”
Bob Spangnoletti, CEO of District Columbia Bar
Bob has experienced both drawbacks and advantages during his journey as a working parent. Bob and his partner are fathers to two sons that were adopted over a several-year period.
With no paternity leave, Bob has had to work throughout the majority of fatherhood. He says that social support and“community reliance” has helped him to juggle both his career and fatherhood responsibilities.
Balancing these dual roles of Dad and CEO has helped him to make more informed decisions within his company to support not only working parents but non-parent employees as well. “It is the power of a CEO to make decisions that benefit everybody in their operation as both parent and employee.”
His workplace has become more parent-friendly; the DC Bar updated its policies around parental leave ensuring that moms, dads, and adoptive parents get access to plenty of leave to bond with their children after birth, and Bob openly talks with his employees about his own experiences of being a working parent.
He believes that doing so has helped to foster a workplace culture that supports family responsibilities and helps others, parent or non-parent, “understand that we’re all thinking about the same things.”
Bob feels that bringing the skills that he has learned as a CEO into his parenting has allowed him to build a stronger relationship with his sons. For example, during the pandemic, he helped his son with remote learning by encouraging him to own his learning schedule and develop independence.
Want to hear more about these inspiring dads? You can listen to their journeys as working parents in full on the Parents at Work podcast.
The Impact of High-Quality Child Care
Child care is the most important resource to a working parent, and critical to be a successful Dad and CEO. Vivvi is committed to supporting working parents in their careers and along their parenthood journey by providing a high-quality childcare program that is accessible and affordable.
Our early childhood education program encourages your child to explore various early learning milestones through curiosity and fun. Available in one of our New York campuses, in-home or through virtual tutoring, we’re dedicated to providing you with the resources you need on your journey as a Dad CEO.
For more information about our early learning program or to organize a tour of our campuses, get in touch with the Vivvi team today.