Parenting Problems: Two Dads, Two Coffees And A Dilemma


Parenting Problems: Two Dads, Two Coffees And A Dilemma

By Donovan Grant

I recently met with a colleague, Paul who had just celebrated his first Christmas as a dad. “There is nothing better than spending quality time with my family” were his joyful words.

He had that proud dad look in his eyes. Even though is little daughter is over six months now, he’s still got the glow! We’ve all been there I’m sure!

“That was my best Christmas ever; the only problem is that I had a bad cold for most of it!” Paul stated.

I was thinking this guy never gets sick… “Hey Paul, it’s not like you to pick up a bug, you’re the man with all the vitamins and herbal remedies.”

This is the bit that got me…

“Yes I know. It’s just that I’ve had a lot on my plate at the office and at home at the moment, maybe my body is a bit run down.”

This struck me as a very honest statement. In fact most people probably don’t know their body well enough to tell if they were suffering from stress. This one of the struggles of parenting that they don’t teach you in parenting classes.

Would you be able to tell if you were suffering stress due to overwhelm at work?

Sometimes we just don’t know. One thing we do know is that sometimes you can be just the listening ear that another person needs to share their heavy load.

We continued chatting and without prying with any parenting coach skills, Paul shared what seemed to be a big concern for him.

His manager had been undermining him in front of other personnel and even made comments that were bordering on being rude. Paul, is a calmer than average guy and he had let a lot of comments go by laughing it off. After having the time off and being prompted by his wife, he’s decided that enough was enough. He reached the point where he started to feel anger towards his boss and it was not healthy.

What’s it like for you when you take too much nonsense from you colleagues?  What is it that pushes you say “no more”?

You see the thing is, this problem had been play on Paul’s mind for several months and he was hoping it would go away. When we fail to face up to emotional worries, they never really go away. They just tend to fester under the surface until something triggers them again.

Paul was just using me as a sounding board but, because he wasn’t sure how to tackle this issue.

Just imagine if you were the one carrying around thoughts like these:

“What if I speak up about it and the manager starts holding a grudge against me?”

“What if this manager just can’t change his ways anyway?”

“What if he says, that I am overreacting and he didn’t realise that I was so sensitive?”

Paul was stuck alright. All these “what if’s” were eating him up inside!

If you could imagine two middle aged men sitting silently, face to face with concerned looks on the faces that’s how it was for what seemed to be a couple of minutes.

“You can’t change other people Paul… you can only change yourself.”

“Yes, I know that!”

“So what do you want to do?”  It’s always easier to ask the questions when you’re not the one suffering, but Paul needed a prod.

“I want to get this sorted out once and for all!”

“Well you need to know what outcome would be ideal for you. You’ve got to start with what you want a victory for you to look like.”

Paul and I discussed his options that included:

  • Confront the manager directly
  • Give the manager some subtle hints
  • Discuss the problem to human resources or another manager
  • Wait and see if it sorts itself out.

Paul came to the conclusion that he did not want to cause any undue problems as he was looking for a new job in another department anyway. Although he was stressed out about the situation, he decided not to take it any further unless another incident occurred. He would continue to act in a professional manner with the manager and hope that there are no more problems with him.

Have you ever been in a tough situation like this one? If this problem came your way, what would you do?

It makes you wonder, how many parents carry stresses like these around with them every day. It’s never easy to know what the right thing to do is. No matter what, you always need to start with the question “what is my desired outcome?” When you make a clear statement of what you want, then it’s less of a challenge to know the steps that you need to take. And remember sometimes, you may need to be like Paul and just ride through the storm.

Let’s stay honest and true to ourselves always!

I believe in you.


Have you face a dilemma at work that caused you unnecessary heartache. We would love to know how you faced up to the challenge. Please leave a comment below because your story could be just the thing to help another person get the breakthrough that they need right now!! Sharing is caring!


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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  • Great article Donovan!  I have found that the more I hold stuff in, the more it leaks into other areas of my life, including being the mom that I need to be to my little guy! So for me, instead of waiting, I try to set up a time to speak to the one where there seems to be conflict.  Thanks for your encouraging words Donovan!  I always look forward to reading your posts!

  • Great article Donovan! Stress is something most everyone feels they can “handle” and yet can cause the most devastating effects on ourselves and those around us (especially our children). I always tell parents, if not for you then do it for your children!! Thanks for sharing, I always look forward to you articles! 🙂

  • Words of wisdom, Donovan. We have only so much stress that our poor vessels can hold… and as you rightly pointed out, sometimes you simply need to drop it, or push back.

  • Sue

    Enjoyed this article, Donovan.  So true.. when we keep things inside, it simply is not healthy and keeps us from being all we were meant to be.  Kudos to you for being that listening board for your friend; sometimes that alone can be all we need to “relieve” the stress…just having someone to talk it through with.   Sometimes riding out the storm is simply what we need to do, and it always helps when you have a friend riding with you!

  • Mandy B. Anderson

    Wow – thank you for sharing this. I have had some emotional stress over the last two months that I had not allowed myself to face and the result was bronchitis, lack of sleep, and extreme fatigue. Amazing what happens to our bodies when we don’t release our emotions!

  • Hi Donovan…I believe you say it all ‘staying honest and true to ourselves at all times’…sometimes doing this may even risk the loss of employment, however, if one continues to be managed by insecure management is there going to be an opportunity for growth and development…I would suggest not because that culture is probably entrenched in the organization…Great article Donovan! …Hughie 🙂

  • Thanks Jennifer, yes holding stuff in is a funny one. Sometimes we just need to follow our hearts and do the best we can from that perspective. We can’t always be super-person!

  • Great advice Denny, sometimes it seems better if we do it for our love ones when we find it hard to do it for ourselves. Thanks for the great encouragement!

  • Thanks Diana, yes these vessels we have can only handle so much until we can upgrade, increase resillience and build our selves up for the next challenge. Push back is a great way to start to do this!

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