I used to work from eight to five like most guys but in recent years that dynamic has changed. Alli and I have both moved fast and strong into self-employment, and we share the responsibilities of our children more 50/50 now.
Ya know what I’ve learned from our new normal?
It’s easy to be a good dad when it’s just for a couple of hours in the evening.
As a man, my struggle is the multi-tasking. Give me one kid all day long and I’m good. Give me four and I am practically a child myself by lunchtime.
I want to be a peaceful parent no matter what my circumstances are so I’ve begun implementing three rules, and they have revolutionized my parenting.
1. Focus on what’s in front of you.
If I pull my phone out and try to manage social media or organize work related stuff during times when I’m supposed to be engaged with my children, my mind gets more easily stressed because it’s trying to operate on so many different levels, and that creates brain fog.
Once brain fog sets in, logic and rational thinking vacate, and that’s when you start looking like one of those parents who has forgotten how to parent.
2. Don’t treat non-emergencies like emergencies.
Have you ever had three kids all go into crisis mode at the same time? He took her toy and she slapped him and now he’s taking out his frustration on the smaller him, lol. Do you find yourself losing your mind right along with them sometimes?
In the real world, people lose their minds during real crisis situations. The situations your children lose their minds in, however, are not real emergencies. Separate them, talk calmly, and keep reality in clear view. They are children. You are smarter than they are. Act like it.
3. Don’t take it personal.
You know why we get so upset when our children act like circus animals? Because WE have expectations about how we would like for things to go, and when our plan gets interrupted we get personally offended. How dare they not appreciate all we’ve done, right? How dare they ruin MY morning and trash MY house.
Except that’s not how children think at all. They are just impulsive, that’s all. So calm down and don’t get your feelings hurt when they tell you how terrible your food is. It really may be terrible. Or they really may have figured out how to get a rise out of you.
If God took just one of your children away from you, would it make your life easier?
That’s a brutal question isn’t it. The answer is obvious. We KNOW that raising our babies is our greatest blessing! Nothing beats it! Embrace that fact every day. Simple enough, right?
I used to work from eight to five like most guys but in recent years that dynamic has changed. Alli and I have both…