Family Time Needs To Win Over My Time

One of the things that I have realized is so precious is my time. What has been eye-opening recently is that my time is not my own.

Our family camping trip in Yosemite in 2011
Our family camping trip in Yosemite in 2011

Sure, I have sections of it in the day that are specifically for me: my morning prayer, writing and exercise; my commute to work.

But ¬†time in my home is also my family’s time. The time when I get to (not “have to”) share myself with my wife Kate and our sons.

There are many things trying to pull me away from that. My work,my career transition, all the crazy thoughts, ambitions and dreams rolling around in my head.

I have to keep the important things important. I have to make a stand. There’s been a slow shift in our culture that seems to not respect personal time or family time. Emails or phone calls or overtime.

I read an interesting article about the challenging environment at Amazon that encourages completely diving into work. Some fathers at Amazon said they considered quitting because of pressure from bosses to spend less time with their families.

I don’t think I’ve got a problem with that. Our lives are meant to be well rounded and full. It’s not about working ourselves to the brink of a nervous breakdown to get more money or to stave off a firing. I also don’t think that it’s meant for us to come home at night, plop into a lazy boy, drink beer and watch 5 hours of television at night.

I think it’s about sharing our days with each other and talking about things that members of the family did. Or how they’re feeling. Or what they may be working through.

I’m very grateful that Kate consistently makes sure we have a sit down family dinner in our home. It has always been a wonderful way to connect with each other. I think as I continue on this journey, I’m willing to sacrifice a few of those ambitions or projects to make sure that the family is intact. Because that is the greatest gift that I have been given stewardship over and I want to treat my family with the respect, attention and love they deserve.

For more on this subject of family time, listen to my recent podcast of The Discussion with co-host Jeremy Van Cleave.