While it is important to provide for our families, be careful not to trade off too much time for money. Our kids may want things, but they NEED time with their fathers more. As part of National Work and Family Month, here’s a post for my fellow fathers who feel torn between spending time at work and spending time with our families.
On October 3rd, my first article at the Huffington Post was published. I was invited to participate in National Work Family Month and contribute content to their month-long effort to raising awareness and support for work-family balance. Here’s the beginning of the piece, plus a link to the full article over at HuffPo.
Poet David Whyte wrote a great book, “The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America” aimed at helping people find meaning and balance in their careers (and here I thought poets just lived in their mom’s basements while pulling a few shifts at a hipster coffee shop). There is a one-line poem in his book that, 18 years ago, led me to reassess my professional goals:
“Ten years ago, I turned my head for a moment and it became my life.”
Today, this poem makes me think about fathers in our roles both as caregivers and providers, as well as the needs of those who depend on us. Here’s my stab at a priority list (in order):
1. Baseline providing — e.g., food, a decent house/apartment, safe neighborhood, schools, basic stuff, basic fun stuff, too
2. Time with you
3. Better stuff — e.g., fancier clothes, new toys, video games, new bike
4. Extra stuff for you — e.g., new cars, a big house, fancy vacations
How much of #2 do we sacrifice for #3 and #4, without even realizing it?
How do you set finiancial priorities? What struggles and trade-offs have you had to make? Let’s discuss in the comments.
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