The feeling of knowing your father is around and not really knowing him was a familiar feeling to me, only seeing my dad on weekends felt very unsettling and I promised myself that I was not going to repeat the cycle, I was definitely bent on becoming a better husband and father.
When Max Schireson announced that he was leaving his role as CEO of MongoDB to spend more time with his family and friends, he wrote that, “Life is about choices. Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family.” In his farewell announcement, Schireson wrote about the things he’s missed (a family puppy being hit by a car, emergency surgery for his son) and the miles he’s flown (he’s on track for 300,000 this year). He also wrote that while it is common for women to juggle their family with their career, men are expected to focus on their career and squeeze in time with family if, and when, they can, maybe there are no secrets to becoming a better husband and father, just awareness and making a choice.
Whether you are a CEO of a major company, or you are slaving away at a tailor shop or so they called them back in the days, it is hard for the hardworking man in finding quality time for his family. My dad would brag about how hard he worked to put food on the table, oh we hated that, we just wanted to play catch with him behind the house, even once in the week.
Let me share some secrets with you that has worked for me, this will not leave you overwhelmed and leaving you swearing why ‘in heavens name’ did you start a family and why kids!
Have a plan
Most of us have a plan for our careers, how to approach buying a house, in fact we even have a vacation planed, but we never plan our life. Take your time to plan where you are going in your life and what would you like to achieve in all aspects.
Priorities Your Achievements
Your priorities become clear once you know where you are headed in life. Once you are clear about where you are headed in life, your priorities become clear. By keeping things simple you will be able to focus on the few things that really matter to you.
Share with other men
Most men don’t tell anyone what they want or what they are struggling with because they don’t get an outside perspective. When we do this, we miss out on the experience of others. Take the time to listen and learn from other men who have been where you are and have experienced what you are experiencing.
Your Job is not you
You are a husband first, and a father second. Your job is what you do to pay the bills. Don’t make the mistake of tying your self-esteem to the success or failure of your job. I have seen too many men work at a large company for 40 years leave and have no clue what to do after retirement, their wife and children are strangers.
Focus on one thing at a time
My dad would sit in front of that television and if you ask him what was said he could not tell you, he was thinking of the stress of the next work day. A good father and husband will leave the work behind and give of himself to his family.
It sounds so obvious but having a family oriented life requires everyone thinking in a family oriented way. Once you begin to see your work as something that takes place within the larger context of the your family, you are able to quit worrying about whether you have your priorities right, and everything will begin to fall into place. The important thing is to show that your family is the important thing in your life by your actions.