A few months ago I transferred to a weekend position at my job from the comfort of the Monday-thru-Friday gig. In doing so, our family generates a higher income, spends less on transportation, and spends more time together. In the process, I surrendered the dubious honor of “supervisor” and now happily work as a “staff technologist.” It was a very smooth transition. My change in title has only proven to be a positive one.
However, last week I was presented with another title change. This time not by choice. My son, Ryan, declared that he would no longer be calling me “Daddy.” I will now be referred to as “Dad.”
That one is not as smooth a transition for me. “Why the change?” I asked playfully. “Because I’m a big boy now, and when you get to be a big boy, you call your parents ‘Mom and Dad,’ not ‘Mommy and Daddy.’” He’s four. As cute as it was that he thinks he’s his own person because he can fasten the velcro on his sandals, I was crushed.
How did four years pass by so quickly? I know the answer. And so do you.
”The days are long, but the years are short.”
”They’ll be teenagers before you know it.”
“There will come a day when you wish they would still be following you around all day for your attention–another decade, and it will be the other way around.”
“You’ll spend the first year teaching them to walk and talk, and then spend the rest of their lives telling them to sit down and shut up!”
If we’re not careful, we’ll miss everything by wishing another phase would end. We can’t wait until they grow out of diapers. We can’t wait for them to dress themselves. We can’t wait until they can wipe their own butts. But before we know it, we’ll wish we had those days back. (Not so much the diapers.)
The point is, it’s not enough to devote a segment of time to our families, like some sort of wedge on a pie chart. Family is the reason for everything we do. After taking two weeks off from my normal schedule, I realized that I didn’t need to regroup. I needed to restructure.
Our family is not something to be penciled in two to three times a week. Everything else needs to be penciled in around them. They are the focus of our lives. It’s important to make fighting debt a priority, but it should ALWAYS be #2 on your list. Family comes first.
How do you adjust your schedule for family?