5 Ways To Balance Life And Work: Dad Edition
For me, the benefits of being a dad cross into several realms - emotional, physical, social and spiritual. I’ve found that marriage and family seem to be the key to my overall well-being. That being said, some dads may often feel tired, discouraged, and overworked. I know, I’ve been there… Regardless of how many years you've been a dad, there is an abundant amount of opportunities to be a better father. However, just when I think I’ve figured it out, I realise I haven’t really or have I?
Being a dad has been the single most fulfilling act I have ever experienced in my life and I hope that this feeling never goes away. Or am I just riding the high? Fact: sniffing a babies head feels as good as drugs are to addicts or cheeseburgers to a fat kid. Don’t believe me? This was an actual study carried out in 2013 and published in the Frontiers of Psychology. Okay, okay, the study wasn’t carried out on men, sexism in the world of science! But I’m almost certain that the effects are near same for us dads.
Here are 5 ways I’ve found I can help you guys beat the system. These are life hacks I’m currently experimenting with. You’re welcome. Sort of… And if you have any brilliant ideas, post them here in the comments. Mmmkay?
Cloning - I posted an ad on Gumtree the other day, just to see what people would say. But, if I hired someone, it would be to pretend to be me at work so I could spend more time with my little one. Imagine being able to clone yourself… I’d conquer the world, or at least Johannesburg, ok maybe just my house. I’d be king! Hmm… my wife would go bats**t crazy though. From the excitement of having 2 of me of course. Because she loves me. Because I'm awesome.
Bring Your Kid To Work Day EVERY DAY - Listen, if I have to miss all the milestones in my daughters’ life, then no one gets to work. I’ll just bring my kid in and I can watch her from my desk. All milestones shall be logged. Efficiency at maximum levels.
Work from home - Well a silver-lining to this pandemic & the lockdown was spending a few months at home, being way more hands-on than I thought possible. However, it’s the best and worst of both worlds. You have to have a routine. Some will not be built for it. But you could be!
Time travel - Bought a DeLorean the other day, still a work in progress… “If My Calculations Are Correct, When This Baby Hits 88 Miles Per Hour, You're Gonna See Some Serious S***t” (If you don’t get the reference I pity you). Imagine the ability to re-negotiating your terms of employment. Knowing what I know now, I would’ve opted for 4 months paternity leave and more flexible working hours for sure.
Quit Everything Except Your Kid/s - At the end of the day, we are responsible for our lives, our choices and our presence in or out of our kids’ lives. The time we spend providing for our children can sometimes take precedence over the time we spend with them. But that delicate balance is crucial to your health. We all fall somewhere on the spectrum of needing personal time, but we can’t let our time with our kids be stolen away from us by our careers. Somehow. Some way.
Says the guy who hardly sleeps and works too many hours per week. I've earned these bags.
But on a serious note, as elusive as balance may seem to many I am a firm believer that it is achievable, and what my “balance” may look like may not be the same for you. For me a balanced day right now looks something like this:
05:00 - 05:15 wake up and freshen up.
05:15 - 05:35 prayer
05:35 - 05:55 reading
05:55 - 07:00 exercise (including travel time)
07:00 - 0:800 breakfast, shower, morning hugs and kisses from K&Q.
08:00 - 17:00 day job (including travel time)
17:00 - 20:30 family time, supper, chores, Q’s bedtime.
20:30 - 22:00 work & study
22:00 - 22:15 calm myself the f**k down!
Family time! (okay, there’s also some work involved as well, like this blog, for instance, you’re welcome!)
Yes, my routine is exceptionally ambitious. In reality, life happens there’s tantrums, fights & even tears, and that’s not even from my wife & Q. I don’t always get things right, but I try and if things become overwhelming, I take a step back & evaluate my sense of being. Anyhow, all of the above mentioned could not be possible without support. Find your balance & remember that personal time & having fun is important too. Anyone who knows me knows that as hard as I work, I tend to play harder, only now it involves being called dad.
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