As a father of three; two boys (8 & 6) and a daughter (3), you can imagine that life can get a little crazy. My wife and I both work full time, which in 2010 is typically defined as 55 hours per week, right? Add to that work schedule a “kid’s sports” schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (not including game days) where hockey and soccer practices run until dark and finally, as most of the parents of my generation have done; we continue to overload and overburden our kids with the random Cub Scout meeting, a “play date” and some homework/reading before bed.
If you get a chance, look into the trailer for Race to No Where www.racetonowhere.com and you’ll see what we are doing to our kids! The main focus of my blog is to share personal stories and sometimes struggles with my inability to balance life and work, while maintaining the title of Active and Supportive Father, so I am hoping to hear from other parents who struggle the same way and maybe this site can become a “haven” for the overstretched and overloaded as we work to a common goal of finding some tips to balancing the journey of life. It is clear that society doesn’t make it easy to have a stay at home parent these days, so the “best laid plans” of working from 9am to 430pm, having dinner with the family at 5pm and then skipping and singing our way to soccer practices just isn’t reality.
In contrast, it is more accurate to say that I typically race home (while on a conference call), fly into the house and shout for someone to pick something up and get a uniform on and when they don’t listen the first time, yelling and throwing things (soft things) can help generate more chaos and make me feel like I’m motivating the troops. Our family continues its passionately loud discussion related to who will eat what for dinner, how fast they can eat it and then we RACE out the door, jump into a car (I go one way) my wife goes another direction and when schedules are really crazy my father-in-law shoves off in a third direction. Some time around 830pm we get home, get the kids showered, pass out in bed around 10pm and before we know it, the alarm clock is firing at 6am.
If this lead in made you smile and/or nauseous…congratulations, you’re probably in the same boat (because if you don’t have kids, the drama in this article would have made you stop reading and probably stop having sex for a couple of weeks for fear of embarking on the same kind of chaos in the future)!
Your help is requested. If you are a parent and you have found ways to simplify life, please add your comments!
The moral of this article: Simple is good. I recognize that I am guilty of over scheduling and over committing my children, which in turn, makes our lives (as parents) even crazier. My wife and I are working to simplify the demand for formal activities and replace them with “play at the park”, hikes on the weekends and time with friends. After all, what I’ve seen thus far as a parent; our kids may enjoy all of the activities and time with their friends, but at this age, they would trade it all for more time with the family!