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

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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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