How my 2 1/2 year old son set me straight this week.
If you have kids, my guess is you will more than likely be able to relate with a feeling I got this week. If you don’t have kids, stay with me because you will still love the story.
To set the stage, over the past 12 months my work load has been steadily heavy as many of you can probably relate to. I have started 2 small businesses, purchased another (in what is for me a brand new industry) and are currently in negotiations to purchase a third. The sale of the business we bought closed when my daughter (now 1) was 2 weeks old and I jumped into an 80/hour a week position as manager until we got our feet under us and were able to hire someone else. To say I mismanaged my time, energy and attention in that season would be an understatement. My priorities became out of alignment by omission and it left my wife practically by herself for 4 weeks with our 2 week old daughter and 18 month old son.
Since that time things have been corrected, I repented to my wife and got things back into a normal realm. Life and business are still moving forward faster than ever, but with better boundaries in place, or so i thought. Over the past month my wife has been encouraging me to be more intentional to put away my phone, computer and such to really be engaged while at home in the evenings and on the weekends. The repetition of this request made it clear it was a big deal to her and I agreed that it needed to happen. I have been trying to detach more and more and thought I was doing a decent job until…. Enter Mase. My 2 1/2 year old son.
Last week my son had just woken up from a nap and was watching TV on the couch. I thought, I’ll grab my computer and sit by Mase so we can just “spend a little time together” while he’s waking up. We sat for two or three minutes as he watched his show and ate his snack when he leaned over to me and said….
Mase: What you doing daddy?
Me: I’m hanging out with you buddy! What are you doing?
Mase: (imagine a sweet long drawn out voice, head cocked to the side pointing his finger as to say.. you can’t trick me) Noooooo you not daddy, you workin on your puter
My first reaction was to look up and see if Summer, my wife, was standing there prompting him but she wasn’t. It was just me and my little man and he knew exactly what I was doing. Now don’t get me wrong, working from home is a necessity for me at times as it might be for you. The problem in this moment wasn’t that I was working, it’s that I was trying to label working on my computer as spending time with my son.
I’m not sure what type of margin you have in your life, but I would encourage you to take a moment today as we head into the weekend and reflect on it. Does your God and your family get your best? Do they know that you have created margin in your life to protect your time with them? Have you set boundaries with your employees, employers, clients and or vendors? I had a great friend of mine tell me a couple of years ago, you have to fight to protect your time with God and your family, it’s one thing no one else is going to schedule for you.
As for me, I’m striving just to be present! Check out this video I came across recently. I found myself relating with the underlying theme all too much. God Bless!
(Special thanks to my patient wife and my genius son)