Maggie Dent and Ben Hannant facing each other in a podcast studio wearing headphones

Feeling like you’re not spending enough time with your kids? Maggie Dent’s advice should ease your anxiety

There are some parenting problems that NRL legend and father-of-eight Ben Hannant has experienced that won’t be universal – like needing an industrial washing machine, for example – but in the latest episode of The Good Enough Dad podcast, the footy star shared a fear that probably resonates with a lot of other parents.

Speaking to parenting expert and host of The Good Enough Dad Maggie Dent, Hannant shared that his career meant he was gone more often than not – and, even now, as a breakfast radio host, he’s not around in the mornings. And, having had a child almost every year of his professional career and two since, Hannant has always been conscious of his own absence.

Hear the full episode below:

“When I was playing footy, every second week I’d be flying to Sydney, Melbourne, New Zealand, so I was away a lot,” Hannant told Maggie.

“And the biggest thing is probably when my kids need me or in a time of need when dad’s there or should be protecting… If I ever missed that moment, that’s my only fear in life.

“And when I’m doing things for myself, I always ask myself the question, ‘Hang on, who’s sacrificing for me to be able to have this fun?’

“That’s what freaks me out the most.”

It’s a fear that will likely sound familiar to just about any working parent, but for Maggie particularly, it’s one she’s determined to work through with fathers.

“That particular fear, that ‘I’m not going to be there when they need me to protect them’ is actually linked into the biological drivers that are within men to be our defenders and protectors,” Maggie told Hannant.

“And so one of the challenges that I’m helping to decode for a lot of our men is that you won’t always be able to be there, and especially around your daughters, because it’s one of the things I found when I was counselling.”

The good news? There’s something we can do to help ease those fears – and it’ll actually benefit our kids in the long run.

“Our challenge now is to build the capacity within our kids to be able to be strong enough in most of the situations.”

Hear Maggie Dent’s advice for parents below:

Don’t forget, you can hear every episode of The Good Enough Dad on LiSTNR now.

So far Maggie has spoken to podcast and TV host Hamish Blake about how we’re basically all winging it, broadcaster Gus Worland about the words that made him a better dad and musician John Butler on his biggest parenting challenge.