Dudes, take notes from Justin Timberlake.
The superstar made a sweet but important statement on Sunday as he accepted the iHeartRadio Innovator Award. After an inspiring speech about hard professional work and achievement, Timberlake closed out by saying:
"Lastly, you can't have innovation without creation, so finally, I want to thank my best friend, my favorite collaborator — my wife, Jessica, at home who's watching. Honey, I can't wait to see our greatest creation yet.
"Don't worry," he added, "Daddy's headed home right now to innovate by learning how to change a poopy diaper and get my swaddle on."
The Innovator Award was certainly referring to professional achievement. But J.T. reminded us that no matter what's going on in our careers, it's the personal relationships running in the background that make all the difference — and that those relationships, including fatherhood, take work too.
Doing the dirty work: It's no longer a surprise that dads are present and active; the era of the distant dad was largely left in the Mad Men days, as fathers have become increasingly involved in family life over the decades. But one part of the equation still often ignored is the actual work that includes.
Mothers' labor is evident all over the place, from the 28 hours of housework and childcare they do weekly to the sacrifices they make balancing work with family life. But being an active father should involve work, too — it's not all tossing a football or rough-housing. It includes eating meals together, shepherding to and from activities and helping with homework or bathing, all measures used by the CDC to measure fathers' involvement.
And changing poopy diapers, too. Being a great dad, like being a great mom, involves dirty work, and more dads are doing it: According to a 2,000-person survey by Today, 54% of dads today say they change diapers, whereas only 37% of their own dads did.
More than ever, fathers are understanding that work needs to be balanced with "life" — aka all the valuable personal relationships that make the work worthwhile.
The blessing of "work-life balance": There's a reason "work-life balance" matters so much, and it's the same reason stars like Timberlake thank their loved ones when accepting awards: Whatever happens in our professional lives owes so much to our personal relationships.
Personal connections are at the root of our happiness, which impacts every aspect of our lives — including our jobs. In fact, the famous Grant Study, which followed 268 men for 75 years, found that "the 58 men who scored highest on measurements of 'warm relationships' earned an average of $141,000 a year more at their peak salaries (usually between ages 55 and 60) than the 31 men who scored lowest; the former were also three times more likely to have achieved professional success worthy of inclusion in Who's Who," according to the Atlantic.
Jobs often take precedent when it comes to daily efforts. But if we care about our careers taking off, it's worth deeming our personal relationships — including fatherhood — just as worthy of innovation. If Timberlake can find time to strike that elusive work-life balance, anybody can.
h/t Us Weekly