CALL-OF-DUTY: Some men may end up neglecting their families due to career pressure.
iStock photo
CALL-OF-DUTY: Some men may end up neglecting their families due to career pressure. iStock photo

When I was a jobbing professional actor, doing tours, working late and sleeping late, I saw many fathers with families which they rarely saw for large portions of time.

I even personally knew fathers who had missed the birth of their child because they were due on stage.

Late nights

You can see this in other careers too. Regular late nights, and working on the weekend.

Some employers seem to expect a ‘beyond-the-call-of-duty’ attitude every week, or day.

And some men, and women, expect this of themselves.

They identify themselves so much with their careers that they don’t know who they are when they are not working.

Don’t get me wrong. As an employee, I believe in giving more than the minimum in hours and always try to give the maximum in effort.

I work in news media, so there are occasions when I have to stay late to help cover important stories.

But fathers, do not sacrifice family for a job. More than any money you can earn, your greatest investment in your family is your time.

I know fathers who have invested their lives in theatre companies, businesses and musical careers. They are praised as masters of their chosen profession.

People, other than their families, will talk about how these individuals ‘touched’ their lives. Songs are sung about John Lennon and a host of other ‘life-touchers’.

But fathers, we have greater power and potential than any of these.

We will not necessarily have songs sung about us — we will instead be inside the voices that sing.

We won’t just ‘touch’ lives, we will hold them, mould them, build them.

Our names will be forgotten, but our true name and character will be planted inside our children, and through them to their children, and so on…

In fact, our greatest achievements will be totally unacknowledged, and will be in the good character our children show, without even knowing that it came from us.

Fathers, fight for your families. Stay together, against all odds. It is the most worthy cause, and the greatest prize.

I may question many things in my life; my career choice or the country I choose to live in.

However, I have no doubt that not only am I meant to be a husband and father, but I am meant to be husband to the wife I have, and father to the children I have.

I am so much more than happy with my lot.

Gary foster Skelton is the photo and video editor for the Bermuda Sun.