Episode 11: Sir Lunch-a-lot
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In this episode, I interview Sir Lunch-a-lot, father of 2 and someone whose job involves a lot of overseas travel and eating out! We talk about frequent work travel, flexibility as a person in a leadership role, and family teamwork. His wife Kathryn’s episode can be found here: http://www.headofacodfish.com.au/kathryn.
– Family of 4
– 2 working parents
– 1 full-time
– 1 part-time
– 2 school aged children
2:48 A reliable 8 hours
3:14 Who are the people in your family?
3:34 What is your parenting superpower
3:50 It’s a joint effort and joint superpower
4:18 Partners parenting super powers?
4:38 Novelty factor when dad is around
4:52 Framework of expectations and behaviours
5:02 Developing independence in children
6:38 Partner is better at fostering independence
6:58 I am the mother hen
7:06 How is the childcare managed
7:20 9 day fortnight and reduced hours
7:28 I do drop-offs and wife does pickups
7:36 A lot of work travel so wife does all when overseas
7:52 Stress on wife and relationship
8:00 The reality of 2 working parents with different demands
8:40 Transitions between all family home and someone away
9:16 8 weeks stint overseas
9:50 Sir Lunch-a-lot
10:20 Which country are you going to today dad?
10:30 Ability to choose your path?
10:46 Very much a team effort
11:00 Putting the kids first
11:14 Wife ends up bottom of the list
12:28 Flexibility in office work – not rigid shift work
13:16 Life would be very different without that flexibility
13:36 What works well?
13:56 School hours and weekdays are structured
14:00 Being particular about social life and weekends
14:14 Weekend kids sport
14:32 Comes at a cost
15:08 Things you learn beyond academic pursuits
15:26 Wife misses out a lot
15:34 Work means I have to go back on home commitments previously made
16:28 Book club villain
16:36 I also would like to do more stuff outside work
17:22 Learning the guitar in your 60s
17:48 Learn a language in the car
17:52 The cheese is old and mouldy
17:58 Next steps in the evolution of family?
18:18 Greater level of independence
18:40 Wife could go back full-time
18:54 Wife has positioned herself well professionally to go back to other challenges
19:06 Not losing career momentum
19:38 Do you feel like your family responsibilities are supported at work?
19:42 Technology is great for working and family
20:16 Outsourcing domestic work, shopping deliveries
20:50 Parents have very traditional roles and couldn’t conceive online shopping
22:02 Do the people you work with understand your dual responsibilities?
22:14 In a leadership role
22:18 Open about the reason when absent for child-related reasons
22:28 Make sure productivity and outcomes speaks for itself (not hours)
22:40 Not clock watching and empowering other to focus on outcomes also
22:54 Producing a high quality of work done more important than clocking on at exactly 9 am
23:20 The difference between men and women being open about family responsibilities
23:40 Mothers hiding evidence of children
23:54 Does hiding it make is less acceptable in the workplace in general?
24:04 A bit like smokers and smoking breaks
24:40 The sickness in the first 6 months of childcare
24:50 Negotiating who takes the day off with the sick kids
25:34 Important that leaders walk the walk
25:50 Sends emails to all explaining a child-related absence
26:03 Someone in the team doing that first 6 months at childcare is going to feel much better when they have a sick child
26:14 Funny or disastrous moments?
26:20 Both parents turning up to school pick up on the same day
26:48 Is work and family what you thought it would be?
26:58 Life had always been mapped out
27:12 Throwing kids into the mix changes things a bit
27:24 How many kids? What gender balance?
27:46 Living overseas, work, babies = extra challenge
27:57 Premature babies
28:45 Taking leave when out of hospital instead of when they were born
29:26 Challenges with pregnancy and premature babies, so you want to roll that dice again?
29:46 Any advice?
30:04 Open and regular communication
30:18 Have the discussion before the child comes on the scene
30:22 Not always an easy discussion when talking about careers
30:44 Get information and look at other experiences and have an open discussion
30:48 What works for one family is going to be different to what works for another
31:18 How do we address a problem as a team, not as an individual
31:40 Ground rules and regular open communication
32:24 Falling into an arrangement without really discussing it
32:50 If you look a the big picture and map it out you would often come up with a different path
32:54 Years later feeling stuck in a part-time role
33:14 Try to have the conversation earlier!
33:42 Use examples as a framework and not a template
34:14 There are very few wrong answers, it’s OK to be doing something that seems out of step with your peers
34:40 Different generation of friends and all families are different
35:14 Make sure it is fit for purpose for what you are trying to do
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