12 Feb Spending more time with your kids isn’t going to make you any less disappointed about not spending enough quality time with them
I’ve been self-employed my entire working career. At a young age I started speaking to high school students about drinking and driving after a friend of mine died in a car crash. This turned into a 16 year career – more like a passion job. Even though I’ve taken on over 30 different jobs that employed me for a few months here and there these were simple opportunities that kept me busy in the summer in between semesters, that’s it!
My passion has always been inspiration. I’ve always been inspired to inspire others. For 16 years I challenged myself to see how many people I could inspire. It was always important for me to count my audiences because I knew there was a ratio of people who were inspired regardless of the size of audience. After speaking in nearly 500 North American communities — some of them two or three times, I had met the mark of speaking to 1 million. This was a pinnacle stage for me not only because I had reached a serious goal but reaching this mark allowed me to focus on a completely different realm of inspiration; raising my own children.
My wife came to me one day and asked when I wanted to start a family. She was ambitious to start one of her own and I wanted to be a part of it. It was an ideal time because I felt accomplished in my industry as a motivator. That being said, we started immediately. Everything fell into place promptly. Little did I know the decision to start a family would leave my passion of inspiring teenagers in the dust. Now with three young beautiful daughters all under the age of six I am very busy as a work from home father. My inspiration has changed to inspiring these little ones.
Among my 30 different jobs that I’ve tried neither of them served the type of passion that my motivational speaking career fulfilled. I found a career with a large bus company as a salesman. It allows me the freedom to work from home. Although this career doesn’t serve an inspirational realm I appreciate the opportunity because it allows me to be close to the ones I love all the time.
A lot of the time my laptop is set up just outside of the kitchen in the common office. Even though I have a well-suited office upstairs I just don’t feel connected when I’m not in my family’s presence.
I spend more time with my children than my wife does because she works a couple of nights a week and is physically away from the household whereas I am at home literally all the time. Yes being homebound allows me to spend endless time with my children but often times I feel bombarded.
I spend more time with my kids than any father I know or have ever known. It’s very rewarding to have this opportunity but it’s also quite daunting trying to manage the two responsibilities. There are times when I’m changing diapers on a conference call, or where I am pacing my garage because every other room inside the house is too loud. Often times I get cranky over the overloaded mindset; tending to my children’s needs while catering to my bosses in Chicago. It amounts to a rather large workload with the two combined. That being said, I wouldn’t change any of it.
Although I still squeeze in the odd presentation on bullying or finding passion to high schooled youth every now and then it’s not prominent in my mindset. Nowadays my children have taken over the passion in my life. The only people I wish to inspire are my children, and my track record of my ambitious youth proves that I’ve paid my dues to society. I can focus on the ones I love without feeling guilty of excluding my altruism to help society. My kids are my society.
I am happy. Although I’m grumpy a portion of the time due to the responsibility I am happy I’ve forged my lifestyle around my children’s happiness.
The question I get asked often is, “Do you still get the feeling of unease in the evening when the kids go to sleep thinking you haven’t spent enough time with them?” This is a great question and something I’ve paid close attention to especially the past few years. The truth is; I still go to bed with guilt every single evening wondering if I spend enough quality time with my kids.
Often times parents who spend a lot of time with their kids is not quality time, and I would situate myself in that same category some of the time. Although my kids learn a lot with me around opposed to not having their father around at all during the workday, I find it difficult to keep the kids busy and active. I still feel regret and resentment for saying things I shouldn’t have said and feel guilty for taking them for granted.
It doesn’t matter how much time we spend with our children we are still going to regret some of our actions along the way. In fact the more time you spend with someone the more annoyed you get with them and less patience you have for them. Over a period of time when you spend a lot of time with someone you start to gain irrational feelings towards them which conflicts with proper parenting, or forming ideal relationships. Yes some people are very patient and have no issues in the caregiving aspect but perhaps they have issues elsewhere in their life that they resent, and this could be misconstrued as the resentment we are talking about.
It’s nice to see the increasing trend where the father stays at home with the kid(s). It’s kind of a millennial shift. The world is making some great and vast changes. More and more companies are trying to save money by contracting individuals offering a work from home lifestyle. There’s a very good chance You could ask your boss if you can work from home. If the financials make sense You would be able to spend more time with your children.
Every parent has regret towards certain instances in the past which relates to unfavourable activity towards their children. Neither of us are perfect when it comes to parenting. Parenthood is quite a daunting stage. But when we’re looking at the feelings we harness when the kids go to sleep it doesn’t matter if you work from home or spend your days sitting in the office away from your children you’re going to receive the similar quality of emotions regardless. You’re always going to wonder if you spent enough quality time with them. You’re gonna feel bad for some of the things you said; things you didn’t mean. You’re going to be exhausted from the overthinking before they actually fall asleep.
Aside from my goal of inspiring my children I hope this post has inspired you to look for an outlet to work from home and spend more time with your children. It’ll be well worth it!
The average individual I’ve asked would give $10,000-$15,000 of salary to work from home.
Read more at KerryGirling.ca