Getting the Balance Rightby Adam Riches
Getting the balance right as a dad is a tough gig. You’re torn between what you should be doing, what you could be doing and sleep.
The change to parenthood is a lot more sudden than they tell you and even after nearly 4 years, I think I’m still adjusting...in fact,. I’m not sure that you ever stop adjusting and I think that is key.
As a parent, you need to get the balance right, but the balance isn’t always the same . That sounds weird, but what I mean is that at different times in your parenting career (let’s call it that) you have different priorities.
It’s no secret that work is a necessary evil for most people. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I do, but work is the central point of stress for a lot of us. I’m sure if I didn’t have work, I’d find something else to stress me out, but until I am given that luxury, I have to resign myself to the fact I’m at that grindstone for the foreseeable.
I work for money. Money pays to keep us alive and for stuff and experiences. It’s not a complicated formula, but it can be easy to get on the hamster wheel at work. You work harder to earn more money, but you lose more and more of yourself for a marginal gain.
It is important that you keep perspective when it comes to your work/life balance. It can be too easy to slip into working too much and I hope following this lockdown, we are more comfortable with less intense working patterns.
The kids are my priority. Most of the stuff I do, I do for them. When you become a parent, you kind of sign away a massive chunk of your soul to provide for others. There's literally nothing I wouldn’t do for those boys, but it is sometimes important to take a bit of a step back.
In terms of development and progression, I don’t want to be so intense that I actually make it more difficult for them to build independence. You want to do everything ith them, but sometimes it is good to have some space.
Over the lockdowns, we have all got really close, which is brilliant...but the reality is that I’m not around most of the day and suddenly, there is a change in the dynamic.
Finding time for your relationship is really important when you are parents. I say this as though I’m an expert, whereas the reality is, I’m not.
It’s so easy to slip into the habit of putting the kids down, watching Tv and then going to sleep. If you’re not careful, your lives become about just being parents and you end up fulfilling a functional role. It crushes your soul.
Having some time out is really important, even if it is to break the monotony of life!
Being a dad is like spinning plates sometimes. It can be tricky, but all you can do is do your best and just hope that no china gets broken!