I work a ‘9 to 5’ job, but being a dad to 6 and 7 year olds is pretty much my full time job. It is by far, the scariest, most important and demanding, yet the most rewarding job of them all.

It draws on everything that I have, and everything that I am. It engages the totality of my being; mental, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual and everything in between!

Over the years in my ‘9 to 5’ Line Manager roles, most of my team have been female. Hence, maternity leave, planned and emergency child care related absences have been a par for the course.

Admittedly, these often happened at ‘inconvenient’ times for my office deadlines or projects. Life rarely ever checks in first on your work or career schedule before it enters centre stage; demanding your full attention! It just happens.

As a Line Manager, I struggled with these events and requests … until I became a dad too.

Now I get it. Or as someone once put it, I became a ‘better and more compassionate manager’. I agree, and kind of regret the times I was solely focused on report deadlines and project outcomes. All those have faded into the meaningless mist of time.

Now I cannot think of a job more important than being a dad, mum, aunt, uncle – that influential grown-up in the life of a child starting out on its own journey through life.