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Case study: What does being a great dad really mean? Kevin's answer

Kevin decided to work part time and share in the care of his newborn daughter, challenging traditional ideas of what it means to be a good father.

As a teacher, Kevin knew that the early years of a child's life were incredibly important.

Good father as breadwinner

Kevin and his dad had always been close. They spent time together as he grew up, on the weekends or at the footy, but not as much during his early years. This was just the way things were back then. To be a ‘good father’ meant providing for the family as the ‘breadwinner.’

It was not until Kevin and his partner were about to have their own child, that they thought about parenting and work-life balance:

The decision to stay at home and share in the caring of my newborn daughter wasn't something I had given a great deal of thought about before. After her birth we realised we both wanted to work part time and share in this unique period of her life.

Don't be afraid to ask

Since making the decision to go part-time, Kevin hasn't looked back. While it wasn't as straightforward as he thought, he wouldn't do it any other way.

Kevin was fortunate to have this opportunity. He knows many men are still discouraged from working part-time to parent.

'Though some of my mates are able to do this, it still isn’t common. Many other men I know aren't given the chance unless they take leave without pay. I was the first male staff member in my principal's experience who had ever requested to work part-time to share family responsibilities.'

Reviewed 03 April 2019