The New Rules of Fatherhood

GQ India|July 2020

The New Rules of Fatherhood
Ten hacks for surviving – and enjoying – being a dad
Samar Halarnkar
A father, especially an Indian father, can no longer be the associate parent. Working from home during the lockdown has revealed how mothers end up performing most domestic chores and primary childcare. Fathers should step up and, perhaps, step ahead in the parenting stakes.

I took a backseat from work in 2011, when my daughter was a year old, while my wife did the daily office slog. I’ve worked from home ever since, before WFH became a thing. I’ve never regretted it, but I have learned a lot along the way. Here are the rules as I see them.

1 Become a morning person

Children rise early. If they do not, they should. You should too. Mornings are the best part of the day to exercise and keep the fam fit, hungry and happy. With schools shut and offices mostly closed, early morning traffic isn’t what it used to be. Go cycling, running, or just walk. The secret to great mornings? An early night – if not for you, certainly for them.

2 Plan the day

You can, of course, take it as it comes, but your work will suffer and your child is likely to drift towards chaos. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. Organise your child’s day. Make sure they have fixed tasks and learning periods. Use those periods to work. Don’t worry if your child is drawn to your Zoom calls and likes to flit into the frame. I’ve found it lightens up formal meetings.

3 Embrace entropy

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July 2020