Since I wrote, “Will President Obama Make It Cool for Fathers to be Part of the Work+Life Fit Conversation?” I’ve been aware of how loudly and proudly more men seem to be wearing their fatherhood. President Obama recently discussed how much he enjoys seeing his kids with his new “home office” on the Today Show (hat tip: Kate Lister, Undress4Success). But nothing prepared me for Pittsburgh steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s OpEd in last week’s USA Today entitled, “Fatherhood comes first, then the game.” The weekend before the big game, the Steelers’ coach wasn’t commenting on “winning at all costs.” No. He chose this moment to talk about fatherhood.
Tomlin explains how important his stepfather’s involvement was in making him the man who will lead the Steelers in the Super Bowl this year. He talks about how, “In my own home, that means I make my wife and our children—Dino, Mason and Harlyn Quinn—my No. 1 priority.”
Then he says…”I also try to make my life fit into theirs.” That’s right, Coach Mike Tomlin is all about work+life “fit!” He continues, “When I can, I drive them to school, coach their sports teams and go over their homework. If they are proud of me for coaching the Steelers, that’s great, but I want them to know that my primary purpose in life is to be their dad.” The reality is that he has a very big job that requires a lot of travel for a good part of the year. But he understands that it’s the small things—homework help, a ride to school—that make a big difference, and he works hard to “fit” them in.
And it isn’t just Coach Tomlin’s OpEd. I see signs of work+life fit change for fathers everywhere. For example, you are now able to follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/caliyost) which is basically an in-the-moment, micro-blogging platform. Six of the men who are following me on Twitter proudly identify themselves within their otherwise work-oriented Twitter bios as “fathers.” Two even have their children with them in the bio pictures. What a wonderful sign of the times!
So as I watched the Steelers win the Super Bowl, I sent out a shout to head coach Mike Tomlin for bringing home the win for Pennsylvania (I may be a Jersey girl in location, but I’m a Pennsylvania-girl at heart), but also for encouraging fathers to find the work+life “fit” that lets them be the fathers they want to be. And I look forward to more Twitter “father” followers!
What do you think? Do you see signs that fathers are becoming a more visible part of the work+life fit conversation?