All too often we, mothers and fathers, get so wrapped up in providing for our families physical and financial needs that we forget that they also have emotional and spiritual needs. Making time in a busy schedule to be with the family is a significant part of being a good father and husband. I understand that it can be tough, in today's economy our earnings are not going as far as they used to.
Our children don't see the world the same way we do. To them it is pretty simple, they want our love and attention. Sure, when they get a new toy or game they get excited, but at the end of the day it is that love and attention that they need. Children learn about the material world from us, their parents and we all to often continue to reinforce their mind set in them by our actions. Instead of glorifying the material, we should show our children that spending time together as a family, at a park having a picnic or simply taking a walk together, is as important to our well being as the material things.
Soon after we moved back to California from Virginia be began to struggle with our finances. Ruby had to give up a good paying job in Maryland and we felt the financial pain of it. My solution was to work longer hours at the office to earn a few more dollars to bridge that gap that was created by the loss of her income. I would leave for work before my wife and son had gotten up in the morning and, all too often, I would return after my son had gone to bed. I soon realized that this solution was putting an emotional strain on my family that couldn't be sustained. Sure I was making more money, but it was at the expense of my wife and son. The cost was far to great and I was not willing to give up any more of my precious time with them.
So I took a step back and looked at everything that I was doing and decided that I had to make drastic changes. While I still get up early in the morning to head to work, I make sure that I do not work past 3 pm so that I can attend all of Josephs after school activities with him. We have also made dinner time a family affair. No longer does everyone eat on their own schedule. We sit down together as a family to say a prayer and enjoy a meal together. These have created many fond, joyful memories that we will carry with us forever.
I've come across many men who do not deserve to be called fathers. One such man that I have had the displeasure of meeting leaves all his kids activities to his wife. His older son missed out on an amazing camping weekend because he could not be bothered to go with him. To him, going out with his buddies is more important than spending time with his two beautiful sons. To me and most fathers out there, our time with our children is precious. Time flies by and before we know it they are all grown up.
Personally, I make the most of every single moment I have with my wife and son. I make sure that they know that I love them very much. With my son, I always reinforce that his mommy and daddy love him no matter what, even when we are upset with him for something he has done. That our love is not conditional, it is his unconditionally and it is forever. Joseph and I have a small ritual that do each and every evening before he goes to sleep. I ask him "who is daddy's best buddy?" and he responds "Joseph!" Then I say "Always" and he says "forever".
The simple joys in life, we often lose sight of them in our hunt for a better pay check. We need to realize that spending time with the family pays out much greater dividends than a paycheck ever will. Our children will survive if they don't have the fashionable shoes or electronic devices that everyone else has. But they cannot survive without the love and attention of their mother and father. This father chooses to be there for his wife and son. Being a father and husband is my career, what I do to make a living is simply a job.