Father’s Day 2020: First 5 LA Dads on Safer at Home

For most of us, staying safe at home with family has brought both struggles and small triumphs. To celebrate Father’s Day this extraordinary year, we asked dads working at First 5 LA to share their own challenges and tips for taking good care of their families and themselves:

Gabriel Sanchez and Iliana: When home becomes both a school and workspace for two working parents and a school-age child, it requires flexibility and humor. And for Gabriel Sanchez, that’s meant “being at home but not” — balancing a demanding First 5 LA work schedule, answering his daughter’s questions, and finding ways to be fully present for both. While challenging, sheltering in place has a silver lining. “Being there to answer questions and teach my daughter to cook at night is a joy,” he says. “From changing diapers to being involved with homework help, dads fully engaging with children set an example for long-term change.” High point of the last few months? “Our virtual ‘Bring Your Child to Work Day’ enabled my daughter to come into my workspace. She could see other people’s kids and know she wasn’t the only one going through this.”

Jonathan Nomachi and Magnolia: When you mix a parent working from home with an active 6-month-old and two 80-something grandparents, lots of patience and communication is required. For Jonathan Nomachi, staying focused at work has meant “resisting the urge to allow 6-month-old Magnolia to crawl all over me!” Working to communicate with everyone in the household, being more patient in understanding that everything might not work as planned, and maintaining his own health and well-being are some of the challenges he has faced under Safer-at-Home orders. The upside? “Renewed appreciation and love for my partner and experiencing all the work that goes into caring for a little one. And not commuting means more time with Magnolia to see the ‘daily cool development’ phase!”

John Guevarra and Oliver: John Guevarra and his wife are both working from home and caring for 8-month-old Oliver. Challenges at this time include working full time — while being a good husband, father and son — sometimes, all at the same time! “When I’m on a work call and I hear the little one cry, all I want to do is give him a hug,” he says. For John, showing love during these stressful times includes growing and feeding his family good food, singing and playing the piano, and making sure everyone’s spirits are up. His recommendations? “Silly and spontaneous dancing is a staple in the house and a great way to exercise,” says John.

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