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Oh, My Work-Life: Four Tips from a Father of Four at Dell Technologies

Sam G crop circle

Sam G. | Employer Brand Marketing Lead, North America | Texas, United States

Originally Published: June 5, 2023

As a lot of us do, I wear many hats. I’m a husband to Ilse, a son to Blanca, a father to four incredible children (Caleb, Zoey, Levi, and Luna), and I moonlight as the Employer Brand Marketing Lead for Dell Technologies in North America. 

One of my favorite Game of Thrones quotes is, “Chaos is a ladder,” and while it’s true that navigating the waters of what true work-life balance looks like for each one of us can sometimes become chaotic, I choose to believe that achieving balance is more of a wild game of Tetris as opposed to an upward climb. Each piece moves with purpose and foresight. Every choice made has one goal in mind:

  • To be who we are.
  • To keep our identity while protecting our sanity - balancing quality time on the home front with an eye on nurturing the vitality of our careers.

I think the beauty of the proverbial “balance” has always been that it never looks the same.

While I’m sure there’s incredibly better content in the stratosphere on this topic, I wanted to quickly share four practical tips that have helped me navigate the delicate balance of being a working father.

 4 Tips That Helped Me Navigate Being a Working Father:

1) Talk to me nice

Communication, I’ve found, is incredibly underrated. I place a deep importance in having open communication within my family. Early on, this meant my wife and I ensured that we were in sync for the week. As the kiddos have grown, we do our best to be inclusive of our children when it comes to setting expectations on our time commitments. In practice, these conversations happen at the dinner table, in the morning car rides to school, after-school pickups, and right before bedtimes. I want my kids to know what I’m up to because I genuinely want to know what they’re up to as well.

2) When I’m here, I’m here

For the longest time, I thought that working from home was the “end all be all” of being there for my family. They see me, right? I’m here. 

Lately, I’ve realized that being physically present is just the starting point; being mentally present is where the true magic happens. My undivided attention is the greatest gift I can offer my family – it tells them they matter. When I spend time with my wife and children, I do my best to consciously disconnect from work distractions and fully engage in whatever conversation about Bluey, Pokémon, or the Kardashians is currently ongoing. Intentionality. The Tetris pieces of time, effort, patience, and responsibility.

 3) Why are there boundaries? By French Kiwi Juice (FKJ)

I want to shout out FKJ and his impressive catalog of at-work bangers. Alas, the question remains important. Boundaries exist because they’re necessary! Maintaining a work-life balance requires setting clear starting/stopping points and establishing routines. Communicate with your team and leader about your commitments and life events outside of work. By doing so, I’ve been fully present for my family for the moments that matter. Consistency in setting and enforcing these boundaries allows you to continue nurturing the intentionality of your time. 

sam and fam in colorado

4) Identity, it’s a powerful thing. 

If you find yourself having an identity crisis, much like Rihanna in this 2010 musical staple, don’t fret. It’s so easy and common to lose a piece of yourself in your work - even more likely if you’re incredibly passionate about your job! Even though we find great rewards in our careers, I think it’s essential to gift yourself a little bit of “you.” I have come to realize that taking care of myself is not selfish; it is necessary for me to be the best father and partner I can be. I prioritize self-care by engaging in activities that fulfill me – reading a book, listening to a podcast, playing my guitar, or getting demolished by 12-year-olds on Call of Duty. I carve time out for the things that matter to me including spending quality time with my wife. These moments of self-care recharge and allow me to bring more positivity and fulfillment to my role as a father and working professional.

Balancing work and family life has been and will continue to be a journey. I don’t know that there is an end, much like I can barely remember the beginning. These four tips are some of the things I’ve found that help me maintain a sense of balance. Keeping true to myself is just as important as being a present father and husband and equally as important to me as being successful in my career endeavors. I want to inspire my children to achieve their goals because they see their mom and dad doing so on a daily basis. It takes work and effort, but all things that matter do!

To learn more about life at Dell, please visit our stories.

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