How Modern Dads Find Work Life Balance
“Okay Daddy, you can let go!” I said nervously as my father held on to the back of my bicycle seat. I remember it clear as day. My bike warbled down the sidewalk, as my dad cheered on. His voice drifted farther and farther away, that is when I knew I was riding solo. I had learned to balance without training wheels! A permanent smile was plastered on my face long into the next week.
Riding a bike was just one of many things Dad taught me. He taught me to read, to drive, and to dance. He taught me the importance of laughter and that humor goes a long way. He taught me to be thankful, patient, to never give up, and so many life lessons. Like most fathers, he worked full time but when he was home, his attention was with the family. Somehow, he had mastered the balancing act of work life and home life (without training wheels).
Here are some tricks my dad used to find the perfect balance:
Exercise. Exercise is a great stress reliever and an energy booster. My father has followed the same workout regimen since he was sixteen years old. Each day of the week he works on a different part of his body (arms one day, legs the next, etc.). You don’t need a regimen to benefit from it, though! Simply walking for thirty minutes a day will do the trick.
Prioritize. Learn to say “No” to the unimportant stuff! Besides actual work, some activities associated with your job can take a toll on your free time. Identify the extra activities that are essential and the ones you can turn down.
Play now, work later. With today’s mobile connectivity, it is far too easy to keep working during family time. Put down your cell phone and avoid checking e-mails until after your children have gone to sleep.
Share the honey-do’s. Whether you have children or not, there is always much to be done on the home front. So, divide and conquer! Be willing to do your share and remain accountable for your contributions.
Make every moment of the day count. We can’t be everywhere at once, so focus on being where you are right now. Isolate yourself in a space that allows you to focus on the present moment when possible. Do your work in your office, spend time with your children in their playroom, eat dinner in the dining room, etc.
As Anne Geddes says, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” Thanks Dad, for being someone special. You will always be my king, my protector, my go-to-guy, and my spider killer! I know I can always count on you and for that, I am forever grateful. Happy Father’s Day to all the super dads who make the life-balancing act look so easy!