Dad Tip of the Day – Make sacrifices in order to spend more time with your kids.
The thing a child wants most from dad is TIME together. Time is limited, so dads need to make sacrifices in order to spend more time with their kids.
The most obvious sacrifice is sleep, especially during the early years. The days of staying up late and sleeping in need to be traded for flexibility and less sleep overall. I am reminded of this today as I had a rough night with our daughter where she was up from 2-4:30am – extra coffee for me today!
Another sacrifice a dad can make is doing fewer fun things with his friends in order do to more fun things with his kids. This is a harder shift, as guys like to catch a game or have a beer with buddies as a way to unwind and relax. A dad needs to determine his priorities, so if his family is truly the priority (as it should be), then these guy days/nights will be fewer and farther between. Balance in life is good and healthy, so keep doing those, but know they are backstage to the kids.
Work is another area where men need to figure out their priorities. As a guy, I have a strong drive to work hard and advance in my career. However, nights are very difficult at our house as both kids need to be bathed, read to and put down to sleep – it is a huge challenge for one person to manage multiple kids in this process. I have had to make a concerted effort to leave the office in the 5 o’clock hour in order to get home and help with dinner and bedtime routines. This has meant more working lunches, fewer breaks or doing work at home when the kids are sleeping in order to do my job well, but still be there as a support for my family. Yes, finances are important as you have to eat and have shelter, but if you can get that done and still be there for the kids, finding the right balance of your work and family time will be extremely beneficial to the overall welfare of your family.
This dad tip is nothing new, but is a good reminder for myself to make sure I am doing what I can to maximize my investment of TIME in my kids, which I have found pays great dividends and a huge return on investment in the form of family unity, appreciation, and love.