I work alot. On my days off I often have an extremely hard time not thinking about work. I find purpose in work but the reason why I work is for my family. As a father and a husband the difference between doing something for them and realizing that spending my time off with them has tendency to be a bit grey.
My wife said something to me recently that really spoke to me. She said "Noah, needs you." Those 3 simple words caused me to look up from my phone (I was sending an email to a client) and listen. She continued "you know he is going to start kindergarten this fall and the time we have taken for granted over the last 5 years is going to be gone." That really hit hard. I know, I know, I know another parent is lamenting online about "my kid is getting so big". The reality is that he is getting big and he is getting older. The days ahead are going to be filled with school, a little playtime, a little homework, dinner and bedtime. That just doesn't seem right for some reason.
I know as parent that I am responsible for my kids. I also knew that the moment I held Noah for the first time that my life was never going to be the same. Today, I am having a little bit of regret. I regret being on my phone so damn much instead of being more engaged. I regret being a little annoyed of having to read 13 books at bedtime. I regret not taking him out to play catch or to play basketball (well it was actually football but Noah gets that confused from time to time). I also regret being away so much and not honoring being home for dinner. After all, it is the one thing that Noah loves to do, eating as family.
I know a lot of parents who are working parents and we are fortunate to be able to have my wife stay at home with the kids. It is not easy. Staying home or working is both work. I would argue staying home is the harder the job. I know the time we spend with our kids is an opportunity to invest our time wisely. The time we spend with them is to help set them up for the day they leave the home for 8 hours. It is to instill in them the sense of knowing right from wrong, how to be compassionate to others and to know that they have a sense of purpose.
In the past, I would often laugh at parents who would post pictures on social media of themselves crying when their kids left for school. I will probably still laugh a little but now I kind of understand why. We are sending a piece of ourselves out in the wild and hoping that the time we invested was time well spent.
The reality of life is that we are not perfect and that looking back at things that we are going to have regrets. The hope is that we learn from those regrets. The hope we have is that the sun will rise again tomorrow and in that we have another day to make a change. Life is about change and the difference is knowing that everyday we have to make a change to be a little bit better then the day before.
Photo taken on a iPhone 7 plus in portrait mode. Edited with the Mastin Labs and VSCO app.