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  • Bad Day At Work? Don't Take It Out On Your Family At Home, Says CEO Dad

    Here’s how to turn bad days around so you don’t bring the negativity inside the house.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Bad Day At Work? Don't Take It Out On Your Family At Home, Says CEO Dad
PHOTO BY iStock
  • It’s not easy being a working parent — you spend majority of your waking hours at the office (and also in long commutes) that sometimes you cannot help but unload your work stress at home. Obviously, this will make the household unhappy, but have you also thought how it will affect your partner and your kids?

    In a now-viral LinkedIn post, Casey Graham, CEO of Gravy Solutions, a customer retention and payment recover service, shared that for years, he was guilty of bringing his bad days home and letting his family deal with it.

    He writes that he would be short with his kids and would not talk much at the dinner table. He admits that he was depressed, slightly on edge, and emotionally disconnected from his family.

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    “I would blame my bad night on my bad day and expect my family to understand,” the working dad writes.

    Of course, the working dad also felt guilty for his actions. Soon, he started thinking how his actions would affect his children when they grow up and asked himself the following questions:

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    1. Do I want my son to grow up emotionally unstable because he never knew which dad was coming home?
    2. Do I want my daughter to accept this kind of behavior from her future husband?
    3. Does my wife deserve to get my leftovers emotionally because I lost a deal that day?

    Realizing that he could not come to terms with the possible repercussions of taking his work stress home, the dad of two came up with quick solutions to be able to decompress and turn his bad days around before he gets to his house.

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    “I listen to music on [the] way home; no calls,” he writes. “I sit in [the] car when I get home and [say] out loud, ‘I’m daddy, not CEO.’”

    Casey also makes sure to smile when he enters the house and asks his family questions during dinner. He admits that while he is “not 100% perfect,” he is definitely trying his best.

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    There are other ways to separate work life from home life — something as simple as changing into your house clothes immediately allows you to mark the “physical, mental, and emotional move from work to home, from worker to parent,” according to Australia’s Raising Children Network. Even an enthusiastic, “I’m home!” can take you to at-home mode. What’s important is to make it a habit so you can unconsciously switch off your working dad persona the moment you walk through the door.

    In the comments section of Casey’s LinkedIn post, one working dad shared his strategy when dealing with work stress: “I take a deep breath and I stop and tell myself: ‘Today’s time, in this moment, just like today, will only be here once. The moment I see ‘my girlies’ (my wife and two girls, as I call them) is the most important moment I’ve faced all day. Lean in, love, be thankful, and fully present as they deserve this at the very minimum.”

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    Another parent shared how you can nurture a better relationship with your spouse. “We now have a cap on how long we can talk about work with each other before it becomes an off-limits topic for the remainder of the night. It helps tremendously,” the parent wrote.

    Work stress is inevitable, but being mindful is key to becoming a better parent and partner. When you are fully present, it will be easier to nurture and fulfill your role — and your family will appreciate you for it.

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