A Disengaged Dad

My day was busy.

I mean, really busy! I arrived at my office at 8 am and by 4 pm I had only amassed 30 minutes of actually sitting at my desk, in my office. I had moved from meetings, to hallway conversations, to impromptu meetings, to appointments, to more meetings. My entire day was a meeting!

Power off

Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

I had even stayed at my office a bit longer to catch up on some content I had to finish before the weekend arrived. A little while later, I sat in a long line of traffic, waiting for the light to change. As I thought to myself, I crunched my forehead with my hand.

“I’ve got so much to do,” I thought. “I’ll need to pull my laptop out later this evening and knock some of it out. That’s the best I can do!”

However, I knew better than that. I knew that wasn’t my “best.” As traffic slowly began to creep along, the thought occurred to me- “I can’t go home and get back on my laptop. That’s not fair. I have to disengage from work, my laptop, and my phone.”

Here’s why-

  • My wife had not seen me all day. I left the house that morning at 7:00 am and by 5:30 pm I still hadn’t made it home. She had been flying solo all day. She’s okay with that (she’s an all-pro mom), but it was now my responsibility to make it home and reenforce our partnership.
  • My kids had not seen me all day. Same situation. I left early, they went to school, they came home from school, it was time they had me around.
  • My work was all-consuming. I realized that if I pulled my laptop out at all that night, it would consume me and the night would be over. Because of this, there was no bigger reason to disengage. I know this sounds confusing but in order to enjoy a somewhat peaceful night I had to keep the laptop in my bag and focus on the most important thing….
  • Time with my family was the most important thing. They are the most important people in the world. Being a pastor means that I spend a lot of time pouring into people. It’s what I feel called to do. But the most important people in the world, the people I love the most, live under the same roof as I do. I love my family more than anything. Nothing reaffirms that for them more than my uninterrupted time and attention.

Here’s my real confession- I’m not that good at disengaging. In fact, there are times when I’m really bad at it. And I wouldn’t even say that I was great at doing this the other night. It’s a work in progress for me. This post is as much for me as it is for you. This is a challenge. It’s a tension to manage, not a problem to solve, because we will always face the challenge of balancing work and home.

Question: Do you struggle with disengaging from work when you arrive home? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • I can totally relate to this Mike. I appreciate your honesty.

    My days look the same but the sounds of things. The reality is, each of us are constantly making priority choices. Sometimes it’s tough deciding to do the right thing, instead of the urgent things.

    Thanks for the post – hope you get some family time on the weekend 😉

    • Hey Rich, thanks so much for your comment. I am right there with you- it’s tough balancing priorities. I hope your weekend goes great and that you get some great family time too!