The Hidden Feelings Of Parenting: A Workplace Lesson We Can All Learn Before It’s Too Late

The Hidden Feelings Of Parenting: A Workplace Lesson We Can All Learn Before It’s Too Late

By Donovan Grant

Have you ever acted a little bit weird? Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you say “yes!”

The thing is- when we do things that are out of character people will wonder “what’s up with her today?” The wrong word, an unusual action or just dressing differently is enough to arouse suspicion that something is wrong. So when you act as normal and someone gets annoyed as a result – it leaves you thinking “what’s up with him?”

You can speak for yourself; however one thing for sure is that I’m not God and can’t speak everyone’s language. So when Dave, my colleague at the office recently said “can we have a quick chat, there’s an important issue we need to discuss”. He got my full attention. We had been working on the same team for the past couple of months, so the obvious thing was that there were some problems on the project.

“There seems to be a conspiracy against me!”

What would you say to that? We were working for a financial services company developing software so conspiracy just didn’t quite fit in. The plot thickened and he had my undivided attention.

What Dave meant was at the team meeting the day before he sensed an air of negativity towards him and he was not comfortable some people’s attitude. He even questioned a recent comment that I had jokingly made the day before. I explained that it just normal office banter and offered him an apology just in case. Note to self: Just because a joke may be amusing to you, doesn’t mean everyone else will find it funny.

He didn’t find it funny.

He had felt that it was another person having a poke at him while he was down.

I didn’t realise that he was down until we sat for the meeting.

He went on to explain that for several weeks now he felt that several of the team were generally being rude towards him and some have even ignored. Some of his language spoke volumes as he described how he had been feeling stressed, outcast, lonely, fed up and ill-treated! This was not going to be a quick fix or a quick chat for Dave.

Have you ever felt like your colleagues were all working against you? That’s just how Dave felt.

“Enough is enough! I’m not taking any more crap from anyone.”

Sometimes we just never know what is going on for the other person and you just happen to be the one that tips them over the edge! In the team meeting, Dave had reacted quite forcefully to a cheeky request from another team mate. This prompted a moment of silence in the room followed by a few veiled amusing comments uncluding:


“ding ding, round two”

“oh my gosh!”

“one – nil to Dave!”

Today it was just me and Dave. We sat and talked some more to see if we could find a way to help resolve his conflict issues. This was not a coaching session. I’m not even sure if Dave knows that I am a coach; it was just a heart to heart from one dad to another.

Out of nowhere he revealed what was his underlying worry. He has a one year old son and he is upset because he does not get to spend time with his son during the week. Due to the extra travelling to our other office, this meant that his son was nearly always asleep when he returned home. This was really stressing Dave out.

Have you missed out on your children growing up because of long hours away from home? Me too.

Dave is one of thousands of mums and dads who face this dilemma every day.

Sometimes the burden gets so heavy, that you can’t help but to crack under the pressure. Trying to be the best parent you can be while trying to raise a loving family.

Life can be so tough on parents.

Dave worked out a plan to resolve the conflict that he was having with one person in particular:

1. Arrange meeting with his manager to investigate a transfer to office nearer to home

2. Take some time alone to become clear on what problem his colleague is causing and what outcome he was after

3. Go for a coffee with the irritating team mate to clear the air and explain how his actions  are unneeded at present.

We left that meeting room in good spirits and there was an unspoken bond of oneness. It is amazing how powerful it is to have someone to talk to when you are stuck. We promised to catch up over the next week.

When we have parenting problems, it is not unusual for us to let out frustration on an annoying friend at the office. Mums and dads get frustrated at work every day. The thing is when you are a parent; you never really switch off being a parent; even at work! So when you feel stress knocking on your door, take the chance to ease the weight from your shoulders.

Have you got a conflict with a colleague that is causing you unnecessary worry while at the office? Don’t let it continue to grow. ‘Handle the dragon while it’s little!’

Do just what Dave did. By taking time out to become clear on the facts and create your best outcome and you too can get yourself back on track.

Let’s work together and keep our parenting bond strong!

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play.


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  • Thanks for this article Donovan. Your co-workers are fortunate to have you around!

  • Denny

    I am glad your friend is finding a way to reduce his stress…learning that we cannot control actions of others, only our reaction is so important to living a less stressed life and is paramount that we pass that on to our children. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  • A good word in due season; it is just awesome when we can help somebody else in a difficult situation., especially with family matters.

  • AJ

    Nice job Donovan!

  • Thanks for your inspirational thoughts Denny. Stress free life sounds ideal!

  • S true Olga. It’s great to be in the way sometimes.