Children, Family, Fatherhood, Parenting

Parenting First / Life Later

I have written a post on how procrastination has etched into life and taken up huge chunks of time instead of achieving better.  There is another factor to losing time and that is the “Later” attitude to life.

As a Father it’s been my dedication to spend every moment with the children.  As each were born I told myself there are fifty-two weekends before they’re one, that time can’t be relived.  So all my time is prioritised around that thinking.  Being a well rounded person requires making time for a lot of things and time is not an endless quantity.

In an effort to be the perfect father always by the children’s side there have been a number of other important areas that are put into the later zone.  Those being Friendships, Family, Career.  Procrastination eats into these aspects of my life, as if I wasn’t procrastinating I would likely have the time, however the “Later” attitude to life eats into the other side.

I have opted to put the children first over many things, socialising (all non-essential birthday/stag drinking), fitness, savings boosting overtime, career (progression, trips, self-training).  All of these aspects of life are parked to one side with the intention of returning to later.

There is another factor that draws me to this way of living.  My wife has moved away from home to be with me.  As such there is always guilt that if she is home with the children and I’m enjoying the life I’ve always had that is selfish.  Also our daughter has been tough, from breast-feeding to tantrums we’ve had the works.  Whilst we’ve both had a hard time dealing with that, there has always been the feeling if I am not there can she cope (which is a huge unfair judgement on my part as she most certainly).

I continually mentally war against this and constantly reassure myself of the view that there is limited time before the children grow.  As each day passes however the realisation also dawns that time is slipping by and the later pile needs increasing amounts of time (which I don’t have) invested to make up.  The moments I have taken up to this point always leave me texting “are you okay”, “are they sleeping?”, “are they behaving”.  Should the replies be despondent or not “okay” I feel an insane amount of guilt or swiftly return home.

With our second child the intention was always to step back and let Mum dictate and manage, this is an incredibly fine line to toe given Mum could also burn out.  Our daughter is nearly four and soon starting school, this freaks me out as time is limited to before work (clothe-up, hair, breakfast, drop-off), after work (food, bath, story, bed) and the weekends (only 52 of those).

So at some point there needs to be a way to start working on the “later” pile and detach. It can’t be selfish as a father to catch a Friday post work beer or football game.  Taking the work opportunities that might require travelling more to put us further ahead and in the family house we dream of.

Trouble is for me I just don’t know when that will be, I am almost certain it will be later on enough to be too late.

How do you amazing Mum’s and Dad’s priorotise the now vs. later?

Disclaimer

I play football most Sundays 9am-10am and also play an active role in the community around us that involves meetings on Wednesday evenings and other activities, however the children are generally with me at this time).

Later

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