One of the greatest positive impacts that you can have on the world is to be a good parent to your children. At least, that’s what my wife tells me when I start getting stressed about not doing enough for the world. And, of course, she’s right.
With that in mind, I set out this week to be a better father, and husband, in order to make my own family world a better place.
Concepts from Procrastinate on Purpose and 168 Hours inspired me to create focused, undistracted, time for each purpose throughout the week. I wanted to make sure that we created some designated occasions with my children for one-on-one reading, some puzzle or board game time, or active play time. Mary and I really wanted to be able to have half an hour of no-kids talk time before we went to bed, so that we could connect without the distractions and interruptions that come with having a 9 and 2 year old.
So, we worked backwards from what time we wanted to get to bed (so that we get enough sleep) — 10 minutes to make final nighttime preparations, 10 minutes to let the dogs out (and try to get the coon hound to come in and stop sniffing everything), 30 minutes for our no-kid talk, etc. until we figured out that we needed to start our family bedtime routines at 7:30pm in order to have dedicated reading with each child, connect time for us, and all the other bathing, pajamafying, snacking, and singing rituals in our household.
We know that this won’t work every night: we have work and other appointments weekly that keep us out past 7:30pm. But, we at least now have a target to shoot for. And, most of those nights present other opportunities for focused time — like swimming with my kids.
I’ll keep you posted on how this goes over the next week. My challenge to you: create some focused time for the ones that you love in your life. If we plant the seeds of love in our own family, it will spread like a wonderful weed to the world…and then all will be forgiving of my silly similes.