My addiction…. is my family.
Really, what else is there? It doesn’t matter what you are doing. If you’re on a boat, at a picnic, doing a puzzle, or in your back yard; Spending time with your wife and your kids is what it’s all about. It’s those memories we will cherish when we’re older, those are the things we will reflect on when we are frail and in our last moments.
It’s easy to opt-out and focus on something else. I see it, and you see it; we have dads that spend so much time in front of the TV. We have dads that spend too much time at the bar, golf course, or out with friends. Listen, these are all fine things, it’s just about the proportion. You can’t work hard, do your hobbies hard, and be a ghost to your family. It’s not mom’s job to raise your kids for you. Dads need to be part of the process.
Dads need to spend a lot of time with their family.
There are a lot of good dads out there. Dads that work hard to provide for their families and then come home and play with their kids, talk to their family, and engage with their family. Our goal as a dad is to be involved with our family. Be present as much as possible. I think we can all agree there are a lot of selfish dads out there. Dads that think because they work hard they don’t need to show up and be present in the evenings and weekends. That is wrong… that is so wrong. You have to be present. That’s how you have an influence and how you create memories.
Today, in 2019, it’s much easier for dad to be involved than in the past. We have more money than ever before. We can travel faster than ever before. We have the technology to work faster than ever before. We have more things to do with our families than ever before. The truth is we live in America in the greatest time ever economically. Money isn’t the issue.
The poorest people in America today are some of the richest in the world. I’ll have to find the data points, but if you make $25,000 a year that puts you in the top 1% in the world. Put that in perspective. The amount we spend on real luxuries that are taken for granted is huge. The clothes, shoes, jewelery, phones, entertainment, food, cars are all real-life luxuries. They seem basic now, but it wasn’t too long ago that these things didn’t not exist. Food was what you grew, hunted, and caught. You bought a little from a general store and even common spices today were rare and valuable then. Dads had to spend all their time providing, not only for today, but tomorrow and throughout the winter. There was no going to the movies, there were no hobbies, and entertainment looked like telling stories in the living room. That was it. Even in the mid-1900s, it was a full-time job to provide basics. Red meat, fruits, A/C, entertainment were non-existent or rare. Dads today have it easier. No doubt. There is much more surplus income and much more spending on non-survival needs. Around every corner, there’s a way to spend time with family. It’s easier today than ever before.
Let’s create a story of a dad. He works a government job, standard hours, and lots of days off. His version of hard work is sitting in the A/C all day chatting with co-workers. It’s not as hard as some other dads who are out there there sweating and getting sore daily. This Dad has drinks with his friends before coming home every day. He occupies his weekends and free days with golf, poker, fishing, and his friends. He has never spent time with his kids alone. If his wife goes out of town or hangs out with friends, he calls grandparents to watch the kids so he can do something else. However, he still posts lots of happy family pictures on social media because that’s the image he wants others to see, but it’s mostly a ruse.
This paints a picture of a crappy dad.
A dad who values just about everything else above his kids and I am willing to bet he also has some serious marriage issues. That’s not a good home. That’s not an environment where mom feels loved and honored. That’s not an environment where the kids know that dad is always there for them, and frankly, dad has little impact on their lives. Essentially mom is a single mom desperately trying to convince herself that those Instagram pictures represent their reality.
Dad needs to be present. Now, dad should also have hobbies if he can afford the time and money to do them, but time with family is a priority after work.
Now I say after work, not to imply that work is more important than family, but to a small degree, it is. Work is important for men to feed our testosterone. We need to expert our bodies and minds to feel good. Work is very important because as a dad, as a man, we must provide for our families. That is a real truth. You can’t enjoy time with your family if they are starving to death.
Work is important even if money is no issue. If you have already provided for the rest of their lives, work is still needed to feel right as a man. We need to accomplish tasks and get things done. It’s the fabric of manhood.
Workaholic dads should listen to their wives. I am in this class. I enjoy work, it’s my drug. If I was single, I would convert part of the office to living quarters. It’s sick and demented, I know, but it’s an addiction. Rhyan sometimes has to tell me to reel it back and come home. I am lucky in the sense that I can stop working whenever I want because we own the business, but the other side of that coin is that owning a business can consume your life.
It is never-ending.
There is never a moment where you are caught up. There is never a moment where there is nothing to be done. It’s important to break off and go home.
My family is my other addiction, I kind of wish all dads felt this way. I would rather sit around with my wife and my kids than do anything else. Don’t get me wrong I like hunting and fishing, I just like my kids too. I love my wife and like her company. I would rather fish with my family than fish with friends, that’s just my truth, but family is something I always wanted. I always wanted, even as a kid, a wife to spend my life with and to have kids while I was young and do stuff with them. Those were my goals in life. A perfect happy family was my idea of winning in life. No divorce, no custody battles, just a happy, loving, and stable home.
Dad is going to be present in our home. Dad is going to lead and teach. Dad is going to show by example. Dad is going to spend a lot of time with the family, as a group and one-on-one when he can. I’ll spend more time on hobbies when the kids are out of the house, but I’ve got 15 years till the last one is on his own and I plan on having a lot of fun with the family in those 15 years.
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I’m Townsend Russell with 100% Dad – The Dad Group
We’re preaching over here for Dads to step up, be real men, and real leaders of their homes.