The XX Factor Turns the Corner –  Challenges and Second Chances for the Working Dad

Author: Lisa Douglas-Paul

Although father absence has been relatively high in the Caribbean, there are those kings 🤴 among us that have been putting in the time and work to be present both in the office and in their children’s lives. Whether we hail them out as the unicorns or unsung heroes, the fact remains that the role of the father is invaluable to the development of our children.  For the XX series we checked on how our moms were doing during the pandemic. Now it’s time to shift gears yet again to see how the pandemic changed the game for the Caribbean Working Dad? 🚶‍♂

Big up d man dem! For some families, the lockdown downtime provided many working dads with opportunity to spend time with the kids and provide their partners with some much needed support with the domestic duties. And it turns out working dads loved it. #qtwiththecuties👨‍👦‍👦

Tings tightunemployment statistics are unofficial for the Caribbean region, but for many working parents the lockdown meant no work… and no work meant no $$$. This meant some working fathers would have been unable to contribute financially, not because they didn’t want to but because they just simply couldn’t. For those with court-ordered child support arrangements it was an even more messy and challenging affair.  

Child Fadda Headache– the curfews added a next level of jamming for those fathers who were already not on the best of terms with their child mothers. The Single Fathers Association of Trinidad and Tobago has been advocating on the judicial front on behalf of T&T fathers and trying to communicate the struggles of working single fathers during the pandemic.  

The pandemic is showing us that maybe the role of the working dad has not been supported as much as we thought. Let’s talk (longer) paternity leave and flexible WFH arrangement for your male working staff. As we continue to consider structures that support a healthy work-life balance for working parents, let’s not forget our working papas.

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