Life Lessons From A Work At Home Father
By Chas Brothers
Even at my age, there are still many things about life I've never been able to figure out. One of those things is innocence and exactly when or why we lost it.
I remember taking my niece and nephew to one of those fast food places that has this built in playground and it was magical! In that moment in time and it that place, the world was perfect. There was a very wide diversity of cultures, income levels, education, you name it but to these children the only thing that mattered was playing and helping each other get over the hurdles of the various play equipment. At that moment, the world was perfect.
I never had much experience with that sort of thing when I was growing up so I was somewhat ill equipped as a father when it came to playing with my children. All I had ever known was strict discipline, ethics, rigidity - perfect military material! I guess it's of little wonder that my second marriage to a former Marine was all but inevitable.
My kids needed someone to play with and I needed someone to teach me! The most hilarious thing I can recall about this "initiation period was when the 6 of us sat down to play a game of Life. It was my wife's turn and when she picked out her driver, a lovely pink peg, my oldest son mentioned rather strongly to her that she had incorrectly placed her peg in the driver's seat.
My eyes nearly fell out of my head as he scolded this former Marine on driving arrangements and the difference between men's and women's duties - man I'd like to have died! So now I'm thinking great, I'm counting on my kids to teach me how to play and they don't know how either!
As a follow up, my wife the Marine showed mercy and let my son live - I on the other hand lost 5 inches in height from the look she gave me and experienced partial hearing loss in the right ear!
Eventually, things got turned around and I had a blast. There were so many things I never got to do as a child so I was going to make sure I did them with my kids. I made snow angels, caught snow flakes with my tongue, jumped in mud puddles, and squeaked my shoes through the store really loud!
I began to appreciate things and slowly began to understand about taking time to stop and smell the roses as you might say. All of us have jobs and all of us have days that are better than others but, what about the good days?
Don't lose sight of them over everything else. No matter what your position in life, don't forget to take time and enjoy recess! Even the slight suggestion of it here made you think of a time and a place when something very magical was going on and you were part of it.
You're probably wondering what the heck this article has to do with anything - well let me tell you! Whether you're a work at home mom, dad, or just someone looking for something better, you have power and privileges that most corporations or managers would love to have.
Do you value your freedom? Of course you do, who wouldn't? In a structured job market you have no freedom. Your ideas are owned by someone else, your hours are dictated, too many occurrences of "family emergencies will get you in trouble and someone else is making money off of you! Sounds pretty bleak but, think about it.
Owning your own business is not without its own unique problems but I want to mainly focus on the benefits. How about the ability to come and go as you please, or getting your hair done in the middle of the day, walking in the park and just taking in life's simpler pleasures? How about RECESS!
Quite a few times here of late I have visited places that when I was a child made me happy and by doing so, I rejuvenate my spirit, gather my wits about me and girded myself once again with the metal to fight life's battles. It all comes down to priorities and responsibilities which sometime, frankly just suck. Being a grown up sometimes can suck.
Don't lose sight however of the big picture. In order to succeed, you need to be refreshed, vibrant and clear but, make sure you don't lose yourself or your family in the process - it's not worth it.
If part of the reason you're going into business for yourself is to spend more time with your family, do it - don't just talk about it. There's no substitute for happiness. It can bring you wealth beyond your wildest imagination. Things these days are hard enough without you making it tougher on yourself.
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