Working Dad’s and guilt

I am a working Dad, and quite proud of it. I never realized that being a working Dad is anything to feel guilty about. I have read a lot of articles about working away from home Mom’s and guilt, and have admired those Mom’s [including mine] who managed to juggle work, long hours of travel, and all the house work.

What about working Dad’s? We spend the majority of our time away from home. Not knowing what is happening at home, with our kids.

Are Dad’s only supposed to be ATM machines, without any relationship with their kids? Popular culture seems to think so. Infact it promotes the so-called successful Dad who makes money and provides all the luxuries of life to his family.

Let me relate what changed in my life over the years which made me start to think differently about Dad’s and their role in the family. The key influence which changed my world view about my life, work and family came from the word of God, the Bible.

Here is an example:

These are the proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes his father glad. But a foolish son brings sorrow to his mother. Riches that are gained by sinning aren’t worth anything. But doing what is right saves you from death. The LORD gives those who do right the food they need. But he lets those who do wrong go hungry.

(Proverbs 10:1-3 NIrV)

Proverbial wisdom says that it is not money that makes Dad glad, but a wise son. My priority should be to raise a wise son, not only for his own sake but for mine too.

It also says that money earned the wrong way will actually damage my home and its peace and joy. So I am to constantly evaluate my work, my business, to see that I am earning honestly.

God places a lot of responsibility on the Dad, especially for his children’s character. It is Dad and not Mom who will be accountable to God.

I love my work as a Physician. I love my family, my kids and want the best for them. As I reevaluated my life in the light of God’s word I realized that I had to walk the talk.

As a Doctor, my work used to take me away from home for over ten hours a day. As I saw my three little children growing up, I made a difficult decision, to let go of the major part of my practice to another Doctor, for the sake of being with my children and my family.

Ever since I cut down on my work by 50% in the last four years, I have seen, heard, played and fought a lot more with my three kids than I ever knew was possible for a Dad. I have made myself free after 4 pm and then I am all theirs [usually].


Being able to be a part of their world is so precious to me as a Dad.

Every moment, every day brings something new…

Being around when my youngest daughter removed the side wheels of her bicycle and cycled for the first time on two wheels.

Being there when she falls, comforting her.

Playing and learning football with my kids and their friends.

Seeing my oldest daughter becoming a teenager.

Seeing her write her stories, news articles, magazines, plays and cartoons.

Being the one to whom they rush when they want to play.

Being the one to whom they call for help with their bath, dinner, prayer and bedtime stories.

Hearing their stories of what happened when they played, about their friends, asking them questions about why they did what they did, giving a different perspective to their view point.

Being a role model to them in the way I live and act with others as Christ would have, with love and humility. This has been a challenge and with the grace of God I am able to change myself and pray that I impart values to them that will make them wise.

This all seems so unbelievable to me as a man. Each moment has given me so much joy, laughter, humor, and new insights into the world around me.

There are days when I get busy with my work, and due to various commitments at times, I cannot be with them in the evenings.

At times like these, I really feel bad.

Missing the part of their life even for a day.

I wonder what is going on as they play, what are they discovering, what new things have they managed to do.


Here are a few thoughts for all you men out there….

I think it is good for Dad’s to feel atleast a little guilty about working away from home. Please spend more time with your kids. They need you more than your money.

It will surely make you a better Father, Husband, and your kids better human beings…who will make you glad in your old age.


Many men will agree that being a father is the most rewarding relationship that they have. Children begin by loving their fathers unconditionally. It is a clean slate. There is nothing the father has to do to earn his child’s love. The difficult part is not losing it. As the child goes out into the world, he will see all kinds of men whom he will look to as models as well. It is crucial that his father stay active in his life and help him make intelligent decisions. A boy without a father will look elsewhere to fill his father’s shoes.

Our fathers carry half of our genetic makeup. Our relationship with our father plays a huge part of who we will become. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter and she will choose a man who is like him. A father is the model for his son as well. Fortunately, there is a trend for fathers to be more active in their children’s lives.


Source: Father Poems – Poems about Fathers, Dads


Father Poem

This poem is about the circle of life, from a daughter to her Dad.

Family Circle

© Melissa G. Nicks

When I am born, you are here
In your eye, I see a tear
Time flies and already I’m two
“Look, daddy, I can tie my shoe!”

Before you know it, I’m five
Every day, you thank God I’m alive
Pretty soon, I turn eight
You tell me I’m never allowed to date

I’m already twelve in my preteen years
Which means you’ll help me with all my new fears
Now fourteen with my permit to drive
Waiting to hit the big one-five

Too early comes sixteen, with my license now
It went by too fast, you just ask how

You want to meet my boyfriend when I’m eighteen
I pray to god that you’re not too mean
The same guy two years later asks for my hand
I’m relieved when you say, that’s just grand

About a year later, you walk me down the aisle
Through all the tears, you bare a smile
Three years later, you’re gonna be a grandfather
You show love and pride for your new granddaughter

Another year down the road
Mom dies, oh the many tears that flowed
You’re not doing so well without her
Less than a year later, you forgot all about her

Alzheimer’s sets in and it scares me so
Not long after, you decide to go
Now I’m regretting not saying goodbye
Every time I think about it, I start to cry

The cycle has begun again
It has started over with little Megan
The other day, she turned two
And said, “Look, daddy, I can tie my shoe!”

Source: Cycle Of Life, Family Circle, Father Poem 

What do you think?





Published by Dr. S. P. Mathew

A Mumbai-based practising Physician, passionate about God's wonderful creation, fitness, and integral health, writer, activist and family man. Saved by God's Grace alone :-) to be his Ambassador.

9 thoughts on “Working Dad’s and guilt

  1. Beautifully expressed, Dr Mathew – It was great to read about all the things you did, and they are indeed rewards in themselves and not only for being accountable. I wonder why you have included this line – \”It is Dad and not Mom who will be accountable to God.\” It does not seem right and not at all necessary to bring home your point of the value of fathers in their children\’s lives.

    Thanks for bringing a fresh voice to the issue you started with and thanks for sharing so many of the wonderful stories from your family.

    Now, for a downright emotional song about the father, which I trust will not reflect on present company, I invite you to hear Harry Chapin, Cat\’s Cradle.

    1. Thank you Pradeep, and yes that is a good question. As I am running my own setup, I could adjust my working hours. But I guess anyone can do it if they see what is more ‘profitable’… for them.

  2. Keep it up Mathew! At our church we recently saw the film Courageous about the role of Fathers – we were a group of men who saw it and were deeply convicted about the need to be not only ‘good dads’ but the best dads that God wants us to be. With God’s help everything is possible!

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