The other night I arrived home late from working on a new project and everyone was already in bed. As I laid down beside my wife, she shared something our little man had said to her earlier that afternoon. What I heard crushed me and has realigned my focus back to what matters most.
My son is 5 and very honest. He is so honest that there are times he puts himself in time out without us even knowing what he did. Because of his honestly, I know what he said to her was his true feeling.
What he said was, “Mamma, can you marry another man so that I can have two dads? One that works all the time (me) and one that could play with me in my room (new dad).”
When my wife told me this, I was instantly devastated.
All Work and No Play
Understand that I am very close to my kids and have always prided myself on being a Father focused on his family. There is nothing I have ever knowingly allowed to come between us and I cherish every moment we spend together. I have even purposely positioned myself to not be in a job that requires a lot of travel just so I can be there for all the life events as they grow up.
However, recently I have journeyed down a new venture while trying to maintain all my previous commitments. This has caused me to extend my “work” time to later in the evenings and a large portion on the weekends.
I see now that though I do not travel, I have still essentially not been present.
I thought I was sacrificing my own time for my goals, but I was inadvertently requiring my family to sacrifice their time with me. Though my journey is for the betterment of us all, my kids need their Father’s attention.
I share this with you just to say this:
This has been an invaluable lesson to me and I hope you can learn from it as well. Yes, life is busy and goals are important. But while you work towards your dream, always keep a focus on your family and be present.
- Kids need their Mother’s attention.
- Kids need their Father’s attention.
- Kids need to feel wanted.
- Kids need to feel important.
- Kids need to be played with.
- Kids need to be lead.
- Kids need to be loved.
I have always been my son’s hero and best friend. However, I know that if I do not make a change, I will just be the dad that works all the time. This will leave the position of Hero vacant and he will simply look for someone else to fill that empty spot.
That will not happen.
Moving forward I will have a greater awareness of my time with them. Will I stop working on my goals and towards my purpose in life? Absolutely not. But I will stop sacrificing the wrong things and be more aware of my time.
My plan is to have:
- More sword fights
- More tickle-tackle time
- More popcorn and movies
- More Chuck E. Cheese visits (ultimate sacrifice)
- More Father-Son/Daughter Time