Bringing children to work: A welcome change in fatherhood

Long gone are the days when it was said that a father stuck to their three primary roles of being the protector, the provider, and the disciplinarian.


Photo: Amran Hossain

June 20, 2023

DHAKA – How often do you see a doting father lull his baby to sleep, on a working day, and that too at work? A father baby-talk with his child on the phone from his desk at work? Even attend a meeting with a baby sleeping on the office sofa?

These are very rare shots, in reality, yet modern fathers are trying to teamwork with their spouses when it comes to childrearing. In many offices in Dhaka, you will see fathers bringing their children to avail the on-site office day care centre just like their female colleagues.

Modern-day fathers in Dhaka are breaking that age-old norm that child rearing is only a mother’s job. They are taking equal responsibilities and sharing the chores. Long gone are the days when it was said that a father stuck to their three primary roles of being the protector, the provider, and the disciplinarian.

That picture of a father has changed now. With both parents working and with a nuclear family equation, it is mandatory to share chores. Moreover, a family schedule can change without notice, the care provider might get sick, or the spouse might unexpectedly have to travel on business. The only alternatives in these cases are to take a sick day or take your kid to work. What impresses me the most is when I see my male colleagues bring their children to work for the lack of a responsible babysitter.

Our office has a crèche or day-care centre and I see young parents dropping their wards off and attending work. The other day at work I saw my colleague conducting all sorts of meetings and business calls, and all the while he was patting his baby so that his sleep is not disturbed. When the baby was crying, he took him on his lap lulling him back to sleep. A heart-warming picture that made me realise fatherhood has come a long way.

Our office is not the lone example here, many corporate conglomerates and offices have options to facilitate young parents. This is the right thing to do and this allows young adults to give their best performance because they do not have that gnawing tension at the back of their mind about how their tots are doing at home.

Just as the mothers exchange parenting notes, I saw the men doing the same on how to calm a cranky baby or how to feed a fussy child. Moreover, if a child sees that both parents working, they will learn to respect the work and appreciate their roles.

Everything works better if couples cut each other a bit of slack. It is easier to balance work and parenting if you have a crèche option at work, it eases off the work stress and allows you to stay focused without disturbance from home when you are at work. Office on-site day-care centre gives employees a reliable childcare solution.

Kudos to modern fathers, who share childrearing duties with their working or stay-at-home wives.

The office is livelier with children running around the floor in cute pigtails and making friends with us. They give us a reason for distraction and a much-needed break from the tedious job of editing or writing.

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