It’s Time to Focus on the IMPORTANT Things

It’s so easy to get swallowed up by our projects.  So much so that we almost forget that we have a family.  I feel like I’m there.  And I hate the feeling.  I really, really, hate it.  Yesterday afternoon was a bottom-of-the-barrel parenting experience for me.  I’m not even going to tell you about.  Just know that it was a “bad dad’ moment that I am not proud of.

Day 393 - Miranda Camera

Photo: Christope Verdier (Creative Commons) on Flickr®

 

I’ve had an epiphany (with some help from my wife, bless her heart).  Between working a full-time job and my (selfish) self-interests (like blogging) I’ve become a part-time father.  I’m distant — disconnected from my family.  The bad part is:  I’ve done it for so long that it feels natural.  That is scary.  Parents:  you DON’T want to go there, trust me.

 

Perhaps I’ll find an early, early morning or late, late evening time to continue my writing and blogging.  If not…that’s okay.  I need to really (consistently) focus on being a full-time father and husband.

 

Here’s a list of some things I am going to do to become more engaged with my family.

 

  1. Stay off the computer.  At least until much, much later in the evening.  Family interaction is priority No. 1.
  2. Create some ‘family time’ where the computer and television are off.  A time when we can all be in the same room and talk about our day, discuss upcoming projects/events/family fun times, etc.
  3. Get up a 15-30 minutes early each morning so I can spend time talking with my wife about the day’s activities, dinner plans, what tasks need to be taken care of, etc.
  4. Kiss my kids goodnight and tell them I love them and that I’m proud of them.  I pretty much do this every night, but I want to be SURE that I keep it up.
  5. Make sure the house is de-cluttered and tidy before going to bed.  It used to not bother me to have things in disarray’ but, the older I get the more I’m finding that waking up to a messy house puts me in a bad mood (who needs that?!?!).   I seem to need more order and structure and clean spaces these days.   I’m okay with that.

 

I’ll try to keep you posted on my progress.  Depending on how much time I can spending updating the blog, you will hear from me sooner or later.  J

Your turn:  do you ever feel like a Bad Dad or a Bad Mom?  What steps did you take to get back on solid ground?  I will sure appreciate your help.  You can leave a comment here.

About the Author

Michael Hawkins

I am a husband, father, writer, and blogger. I am passionate about helping people make good choices.

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    It’s not easy to admit your shortcomings. It’s not easy to apologize. However, it’s important to do both. I think as dad’s we’re vulnerable to becoming workaholics because we want to provide. We’re vulnerable to starting outside businesses because we have a dream of doing more, impacting more, and becoming self-reliant.
    None of that matters if we don’t get the important stuff right. I would encourage anyone feeling that way to check out 2 resources:
    1. Michael Hyatt’s creating a life plan -
    http://michaelhyatt.com/life-plan
    http://michaelhyatt.com/7-reasons-why-you-need-a-written-life-plan.html
    2. Michael Nichols ideal week –
    http://www.michaelnichols.org/ideal-week/

    • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

      Thanks DS. I downloaded MH’s LifePlan awhile back. Sounds like I need to re-visit and spend some quality time with it.

      I’m familiar with Michael Nichols (where did all these “Michaels” come from, anyhow?!?!) but have not seen that post. I will, for sure, check it out.

      “Dream” is a word I’m very familiar with. I have all these dreams and ideas for bigger and better. But…there’s the “reality” factor. And I don’t always take that into consideration.

      I’ve been like this for a lifetime. It’s very frustrating for me. And I think hitting the fifty-year-old mark last October has really made me think about the rest of my life. It’s kind of scary. I want it all. Without sacrificing anything. I’m not sure that’s possible. And I have a really hard time with that.

      Thanks so much for the comment and the references. I appreciate you!

  • Lisa R

    It’s harder to do things when your children are younger. (I’m guessing yours are younger.) Mine are almost 13 and 15 now, and I only got back into writing a couple of years ago. Maybe your writing is something you need to put down for a few years until they’re older. For the past year, I’ve been really thinking about what I want to do when I’m finished with homeschooling, and the one answer that keeps coming back is writing. I probably wouldn’t have had the energy though to write when they were younger so maybe that’s an idea for you.

    • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

      You’re right: it IS harder to do stuff when your kids are younger. My boys are 12 and 17. So…it’s not like they are high maintenance (well, some days they are!).

      Maybe I’m being selfish and I just need to put my desire to do things away for awhile. But that thought absolutely KILLS ME. I feel like I should be able to do what I want to do. Is that wrong?

      I know we all have limits, and I know it’s all about priorities. I don’t want to sacrifice my family for my selfish desires. But somehow I think it can/should all be able to work together. Maybe I’m more pie-in-the-sky than I thought I was.

      Time will tell. This is a big deal. And, honestly, I’m struggling with it.

      Thanks so much for your comment and advice. : – )