Played Yahtzee with the big kid over Weet Bix yesterday morning. Hopped an 8am train across town for an extra-curricular thing I do each Wednesday, trained it back to the city for a few hours of work, then nicked off early for my little kid’s footy training at 5.
Sunday nights, I do a few hours from the home shed to make up for my sketchy Wednesdays. And without numbing you further with the soporific minutiae of my weekly timetable, my point is that flexible working hours are good. They don’t necessarily work for nurses or teachers or farmers with crops to harvest and cows to milk, but they’re a godsend for many office workers.
Yesterday in The Daily Telegraph, reporter Lisa Power wrote an interesting story. She interviewed the author of a book about daddyom, who said that almost half of dads who work flexible hours fear being perceived as not committed to their work. Well, you know what I say to that? I say screw that theory and let’s go play mini golf.
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I didn’t get enough time with my father. However, I know I am incredibly fortunate to have as much as I did.
ABC TV recently announced they were making a documentary about him (airing tonight, February 23 at 8pm). It would cover his early years, his business life and what has happened since he died. I wasn’t the least bit interested in the extra coverage of the family post his death, and I hope there is very little of me in it.
However, I recognise that the producers wanted to study the impact of his life - which of course didn’t stop when his heart did. So I agreed I agreed to participate. I am doing this because I believe that the best way for me to honour my father is to help others understand him. So, with greatest respect to my father, (Michael) Robert Hamilton Holmes a Court, 1937-1990, I share some of the things he taught me.
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Holding a foreign affairs portfolio in the Federal Government means you travel… a lot. And with a young family this carries with it certain domestic challenges.
So a social contract has developed between me and my family to resolve the situation. Be it out of compensation or guilt, provided I return bearing gifts then everything is OK.
My wife Rachel is the easiest piece of the puzzle. I pass through Duty Free often which simply means cosmetics. Her favourite is nail polish which lives in the refrigerator. After a year of travelling the inside door of the fridge now has a line-up of tomato sauce, milk and a bank of Chanel.
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There are 17 strangers in a training room. Over the course of eight hours, they’re repeatedly divided up by gender to brainstorm. At one point, the trainer makes a joke about turning testicles into a purse. It gets a laugh.
This is a parenting class I attended recently. Eight couples with nothing in common except their pregnancy and an assumption that it’s apparently OK to joke about castration.
Over at news.com.au, we’ve been looking at male identity in a post-GFC jobs market and a post-post-feminist household. We have found traditional “male” jobs in decline and what one expert called a “sex-segregated workforce” taking its toll on Aussie men.
We have also found an increasing number of men seeking help through mental health services and therapy sessions. But in a way, that’s the good news – at least men are finally prepared to talk.
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It hasn’t been a good week for disaffected fathers. Most weeks aren’t. Since Mick Fox disrupted half of Sydney to protest his custodial battle, we’ve seen the shocking case of Paul Rogers, who fatally gassed himself and his daughter Kyla, while the awful case of Ramazan Acar goes through the courts. Read the gruesome details if you dare.
As we all know, custodial battles over children are the common thread in these and many similar cases. But why do men snap? At what point does frustration boil over into mass scale public nuisance… or even to murder?
Let’s take a small picture view and a big picture view. The small picture, with a focus on the ass that is family law, comes from Barry Williams, president of the Lone Fathers Association. The wide view comes from social analyst Richard Eckersley, who regularly measures Australia’s pulse through a thing called the Wellbeing Index.
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Recently in South Australia, the local reproductive medicine outfit had, for want of a better term, a “sperm drive’‘.
The campaign, conceived on the cheap, pleaded with Aussie blokes not to “waste’’ their sperm.
It was wildly successful. The number of sperm donors in SA jumped 100 per cent. From two to four.
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@Kittu64 That's true. Pretty sure I referred to "high salaried" women.
@michelangeloruc not at all mate it is a great story and photo
@nswpolice very polite and helpful officers manning the Pyrmont road closures this morning
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