I remember being frustrated almost every day. Our home met all of our needs, with the exception of one thing. I wanted a sectioned-off office but the only available space in our home was the loft area where the kids also played.
I didn’t also appreciate our house. That is until we had to move from that home because we couldn’t afford to live there. The next several months we had no home, which, of course, meant I had no office, and our kids had no room to play. Our home was in the basement of friends, spare rooms of family, and a couple different hotel rooms.
I made the mistake of taking things for granted when I should have been thankful. Sometimes we do that as dads as well. Here are 3 things you probably take for granted and shouldn’t.
1. That you are actually a father
I have friends who aren’t fathers, but they want to be. The challenges we face as dads can cloud our perspective. When we have newborns we miss the sleep and freedom. When our kids are teens we miss the little kid problems. When they are adults we miss knowing what they are up to. At the end of the day, we are dads. It’s an amazing privilege filled with teaching the basics of tying a shoe to the complexities of relationships. It’s a privilege that rewards you with a little person looking up to you like Superman and believing you are the very best.
2. That you have the ability to influence your kids
Let’s face it our kids have a lot of influences, both good and bad—peers, coaches, mentors. However, you have the greatest ability, along with your wife, to effect your kids’ lives. That’s a serious responsibility, but also a great one to have. Don’t take it lightly, and don’t be passive about it. Be intentional and proactive so you can have the most meaningful impact on your kids.
3. The limited time you have with your kids
We only have 1,440 minutes each day-480 of those are spent sleeping, 480 you spend working, subtract out commuting, homework, your lunch hour, and time your kids need to get ready for bed. After those calculations, you have roughly only 90 minutes of distraction-free time with your child a day. We can’t waste it and we can’t procrastinate. Most of us are overloaded today, so we have to spend our time on what matters most. I recently read a quote which said, “if you don’t have time for it today because you’re overloaded, what makes you think you can add the things from today’s overbooked schedule to tomorrow’s already overloaded schedule.” You can’t. Just choose one over the other. Tomorrow is not promised, you’ve heard it before. It’s now time for your actions to reflect this when it comes to time with your kids.
Sound Off: What’s the one thing you never take for granted?
Andrew Linder is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.