Seeing my Family at their Best

This is a guest post by Robert, who lives in Calgary and works as a financial advisorretired at 34. He is married, has three kids.  Robert and his wife then plan to return to school and become teachers, eventually living and working overseas.

One of the frustrations that I felt while working was that I rarely saw my family at their best. I would leave very early in the morning, usually before they were even awake, and I wouldn’t be back until dinner time. By then, I was tired from a long day at work, and they were tired from school and activities. Dinner was usually a rushed affair, after which we tried to keep the kids from making a mess with their toys, then struggled to get them into bed. Only on weekends did I really have the time and energy to enjoy my family.

Now that I don’t go in to work, I help my oldest get ready for school in the mornings. I get to spend time with the other kids while they’re still happy and energetic. In the summer, especially, I can take them for walks or bike rides or go play at the park. Winter means more reading, trips to the grocery store or pet store (just to see the animals) and playing computer games.

It’s not perfect. Where I used to feel frustrated that I didn’t spend enough time with my kids, now I sometimes feel like I’d prefer a break from them. My wife has little sympathy, and says that now I can begin to appreciate how demanding it was for her to spend her day with small children. No wonder she wanted to just curl up with a quiet book in the evenings. As the kids get older, however, they are more able to play by themselves or with each other. The oldest one can even read to his brother and sister now, if they want.

Even though life is never perfect, and there will always be difficulties, not matter what path we take, I’m glad to be able to spend more time with my family. What will you spend more time doing, when you have the chance?


One thought on “Seeing my Family at their Best”

  1. Now that both my wife and I are retired, we are spending lots of time together (with generous time apart, too). For instance, we just got back from a long walk, followed by a session at the local gym (working out separately). I find that I am appreciating and enjoying her so much more than previously when work and the kids were our prime focusses.

    Still, going our separate ways is very important. Then when we are together, we have new things to share.

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