The father lode - 30th August, 2007

Not so long ago a father was a success if he could put a roof over his family’s head. Now it takes a roof, deck, home theatre, teen retreat and pool. And that’s just the holiday house. These aren’t easy times to be a father, let alone a “good father”. Just as the world seems to be spinning faster than ever before, requiring us to work harder and for longer, not always fully comprehending why or what for, fathers are also trying to make better use of family time. To engage with their children. To empathise with their wife or partner. To not only lead but to inspire, comfort and understand. As far as job descriptions go, it’s fairly heady stuff. Working in the real estate business used to be about finding new owners for houses. Now, thankfully, we speak of families and “homes”. We don’t simply negotiate prices, draw up contracts and hand over keys. We help people move. I’m increasingly aware of the cost and time pressures placed upon modern families, not least of all because I feel them too. As fathers – I have three little girls, all being expertly groomed to look after me in my dotage! - we are all trying to do our best … and sometimes that’s even enough. I am fortunate to have a wonderful father whose ideals and practices I could do no better than to emulate. He strikes a nice balance between work and family, always with the understanding that when the see-saw comes to rest, it comes down on the family side. To my own father and to all fathers, best wishes for a great day on Sunday. You deserve it! Until next week … Gerard Baden-Clay, Principal Century 21 Westside