Hey dad, can we work with you today? That’s the question buzzing in my ear. My thought immediately following was, “Nope!”, what came out of my mouth was, “Sure!” That’s how the above scene came to be.
It led me to think about work/family balance and taking advantage of the moments life presents you with. Through COVID I think all parents working at home and dealing with the challenge of keeping our kids learning on track. Oh and there is the other fact that you have the kids there…all…day…long. I will tell you that trying to achieve your goals for the day in that environment is not conducive to success. This is where my my first thought came from , I had to take a moment to evaluate this thought. I was so focused on achieving my goals that I was about to pass up an opportunity.
The business person in me was thinking in a very logical manner, “We’ve got a lot of work to do with some important decisions on the docket, this is not the day to have the girls in here. Heck, no day, is a good day to have the girls in here during working hours.” Fortunately, I have been developing another side of me that I have started listening to more and more as I have moved away from my previous career. This side of me is the parental side that loves those girls more than anything else and knowing that while the work I’m doing now and the decisions I had to make that day would benefit them in the long term; I have already missed large parts of their lives because of the nature of my prior career and that nothing I was doing that day was worth more than the opportunity to spend my day with them.
You’ll notice they have their headphones in, which honestly was because I could not take two separate learning devices playing at max volume at the same time. They complain the TV is too loud when my hearing loss…self…turns it up enough to hear the dialogue on a movie or show we watch together, but their computer or iPad time is loud enough to make you deaf. Gotta love it though. Throughout this period of Coronavirus concern we have obtained a unique opportunity in our lives to spend more time with our kids and help instill our values or explain what we do for a living in a way that is unlikely to occur again.
So today I will urge you to rethink your response if you felt like I initially did when they asked if they could work with me in my office, or if you already do let them in enjoy the moments. Whatever I could be doing to prepare for their future is not nearly as important as being there in the moment for them. These times for me with a 4 and 7 year old is foundational, and can create memories that will mean more to them over the longer term than the 1s and 0s that I happen to be looking at or typing that day.
Coronavirus is no fun and there are times when they drive you insane, but the moments when they ask for help from you fully expecting you to know the answer in their naive innocence, or tell Mommy that we worked in OUR office today, or just laughing with them over a bad dad joke you told them is what will stick with you. Remember for all of the bad with this pandemic, it has given us the chance to grow closer to our families if we only reach out and grab it. That’s all for today.