Work-home dynamics are changing in our world and there are so many demands on our time. In this special guest post Nicole T. Walter wants to encourage parents to “be all there,” really being present in their children’s lives.
We all know the rules that governed our parents’ generations have changed. Just watch that black and white TV show with the dad who works to “bring home the bacon” while the mom is in the kitchen. Then look around at the homes of your friends and you will know this isn’t a reality for most of us anymore. About half of American families have two-full time working parents and close to two-thirds have two parents that work at least part-time.
As a mom who is caught between the necessity to work and the desire to be there for my kids, I know that the rules changing also mean the roles have to change for my family to thrive.
Gone are the days when the mother was the primary care-giver and not all dad’s are the main bread-winner anymore. No matter what the work-home dynamic, the need is the same. Providing for our kids is necessary but our children long for parents who are present.
My husband is fortunate in this season of life to have a job that allows him to work largely from home and when the kids walk through the door he is usually there to ask them about their day. After they get settled in with homework or naps he heads back up to his office, but a day doesn’t pass that he doesn’t take time out to see them for a few minutes. Schedules differ but those precious minutes, whenever they are in our days, should never be negotiable.
There is nothing more needed in the eyes of our children and nothing more attractive to a working wife (in the home or otherwise) than a man who really sees his children.
It can be so easy to come in the door and want to just relax, to push aside the stress of the day. Believe me, moms struggle with this too! It’s equally as tempting to listen with one ear and tune the kids out with the other.
Really being present means leaving work behind. Changing work environments mean our duties often follow us home. As a mom who works outside the home and does my writing work from the home, it can be so difficult for me to leave work for work hours only and give my children the full attention they deserve. But it is a battle my husband and I both have to keep fighting.
Really being present means listening whole-heartedly. I know, I know. Kids can say the same things a thousand times. My youngest is at the “why” stage and my oldest at the “whining” stage. I have to snap myself back to reality sometimes and realize all it really takes is some undivided time, eyes on them, and a heart intent on really hearing what matters to them.
Really being present means caring about what they care about. I grew up around only girls so little boy interests are a struggle for me. But I try to cherish every lizard and tree frog caught for me in love. I know the days of ball games are coming and I have a lot to learn about sports to show I really care (I don’t know a thing!). My husband couldn’t care less about musicals and dance but when he watches that little girl perform, it validates her and draws them closer together.
These little people entrusted into our care are becoming who they will be under our watchful (or neglectful) gaze. Whether they are really seen by us is a choice we have to make each day. So, let’s be all there lest we all miss out!
Guest Author Bio:
Nicole T. Walters is a wife, mom, and writer from metro Atlanta who writes about faith, the global Church, and being on mission wherever God has placed you. A member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild, you can find Nicole writing at a number of places online including Nicoletwalters.com, The Mudroom, and SheLoves Magazine.
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