I Want to Be A Dad Full Time AND I Want To Work Full Time

I feel the tension of the working parent.

Being an entrepreneur and a part time stay at home dad, I get to choose my schedule. It’s amazing. I’ve been very fortunate. I’m so grateful for my wife and the way we do it.

And recently, I am choosing to work more and parent less.

My son is impacted. He’s used to having me around more (He is also going through other normal developmental transitions). The behavior change in him is very subtle, but I see it every day. He’s acting out more, he’s more aggressive, more distant with me, and he’s easily hurt by me. He’s 5, so he doesn’t have a lot of adult words for what’s going on for him. Regardless, I’ve been focused on him and his behavior and trying to help him use words more than shouting, tantrums, or hitting. He tells me I’m “always” mad at him. Interesting. I read into that “Dad I’m mad at you for not playing with me as much and working more. Under my anger, I’m hurt, my feelings are hurt. Help!” Mostly I’ve been focused on the challenging behavior in him, instead of my own process with our changing dynamic.

Just today, it hit me even more. I dropped into some deep sadness over choosing to play with him less. Oomph. It felt like a punch in the gut. But I got it. I then shed some big tears and felt the tension of wanting to be in both places at the same time. I want to be home all the time for every second of my children’s lives, AND I want to be working all the time because I love my job. I’m guessing this is a universal experience for many parents who are deeply connected to their kids. I’m vulnerable and resting humbly in what feels like unresolvable tension that is mine to embrace.

1 Comment

  • Roni Jacobi

    Reply Reply May 27, 2014

    Children do grow up amazingly fast, and then they can move far away at times. I was fortunate to be able to work at home for most of my very demanding work, and I learned to not interrupt what my daughter was doing. I learned that reaching out to her when I wanted a little break then made it so it was hard on her and me when I felt I rather quickly needed to get back to work. I did my best to be responsive to her. We would spend hours at the park with me doing paperwork. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time playing with her, but I spent lots of time giving her opportunities and spotting her when needed on new equipment etc. All the best to you and yours and to all families. Roni

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