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The perils of being a dad working from home

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Published on 10/03/2017

This hilarious video of Robert Kelly being interrupted by his children live on TV has blown up the internet. And it’s something that all dads who work from home can find relatable. (As I write this now, I sit surrounded by what appears to be an explosion of assorted toys, baby clothes, nappy bags and books.)

In the video, first one then a second child bursts into the home office where Mr Kelly is being interviewed, demanding to see “daddy”. Eventually they are scooped up and taken away, but not before ruining all attempts at a serious conversation about the future of South Korea.

We’ve all been there: that moment when you try to seem professional but your child wants to let you know, in no uncertain terms, where your priorities really lie. Why just yesterday, I attempted to keep a facade of normality during a phone call to an employer while my daughter noisily sang “DADDY POO DADDY POO” in the background.

In a vain attempt to stay unflappable, I pretended she wasn’t there and continued talking as if nothing was happening. DADDY POO DADDY POO. “Yes, that’s right, I’m available next week,” I said. “WELCOME TO OUR LEARNING FARM,” blared the toy my daughter decided to hold up right next to the phone.

That was it: my cover was blown. No point trying to ignore it any longer, I had to acknowledge the elephant – or rather, the cheeky toddler – in the room. “Er, that’s my daughter,” I said, meekly.

In one way, you want the world to swallow you up. Here you are, trying to stay as professional as possible, while your child fights for your attention. You’re trying to present yourself as a businesslike, hardworking man, but your child is having none of it. You’re daddy and they want you to know who’s boss. (It’s not your boss.)

Secretly though, I was delighted. What better way to end a boring work phone call than by being dragged off by your daughter? And I wish every time I focused too hard on work she’d come along and bring me back down to earth with a bump. Mr Kelly might have been embarrassed at the time, but I think we should celebrate our dad-ness all the time, even if our little one gets in the way of work. They’ve every right to.

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