Yesterday evening my five year old boy Joshua put this picture on the front of the door to my home office (Wow, I really need to paint that door. Anyway…) Why? Because he wanted to play with daddy and that was his way of saying “Don’t go back in here daddy.”
For the record, every day I get off work around 5:30-ish (and that’s a very broad “ish”) to re-engage with the fam. One of the great things about being self-employed is the flexibility to do that. Yes, I often put in long hours, but I can stop whenever I want to be a dad or a husband.
At 4:00 yesterday, mommy told Joshua that daddy would play with him after work. Well, the ear canals of a 5-year-old are such that, all he heard was, “Daddy is going to play with you.” After incessant requests for me to stop work to play, how could I resist? I stopped worked early and played.
Are you taking account of what’s most important in your life? When a spouse or one of your children pleads for your time, what is your response? Are you annoyed they are interrupting your work? Or do you make sure they know, without a shadow of a doubt, they are more important to you than Final Cut Pro or Photoshop? I must admit, I’m not always as good as I was yesterday. I more often than not am going to say, “Wait. Daddy will play with you later.” (Actually, that’s exactly what I did yesterday, but he really wanted daddy!) And I know that some days, daddy really does need to get work done. But, in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to be mindful of the messages we send to our loved ones vis a vis their level of importance related to our work. The last thing I want is Joshua, 25 years from now, lying on some shrink’s couch talking about how the fact that his daddy didn’t play with him has psychologically scarred him for life. 🙂