Dad, are you a going a million miles an hour?

In today’s world, one of the enemies of having closely connected families life is how busy we all are. It’s so easy to get distracted and off track from our families, which should be among our highest priorities. You probably know this, but it’s a real challenge to make sure the main thing is really the main thing, every day.

We could tell you to “slow down,” but that may not be realistic for everyone. So, let’s look at a few suggestions that might help you get it right as a dad:

  1. Stay (or get) in shape! Being a good dad in a busy world takes energy, so we need to take care of ourselves. That time you invest in working out will help you be more productive at work and have more energy when you’re at home the rest of the week.
  2. Admit that you can’t do it all. Sometimes you have to say “no” to the good so that you can say “yes” to the best. This is an ongoing battle, with constant prioritizing and reassessing how you’re doing.
  3. Really savor every moment you have with each of your children, even the brief times. When you’re with them, don’t let smart phones, work deadlines or schedules distract you. Carve out time when you can be focused, and stay in the moment.
  4. Make investments in your kids even when you aren’t with them. Yes, it takes a little time, but there’s one dad who takes a few minutes each week to write notes to each of his children. He mentions something special the child did that week, offers a word of encouragement and blessing, or just writes, “I love you.” Then he hides the notes so his children will find them later. Needless to say, they’re always a huge hit.
  5. Stay spiritually fit and tuned in. Staying in shape physically is one thing, but it may be even more important to stay grounded spiritually and emotionally. That’s where we can find the inner purpose and daily motivation to live out of our top priorities and follow through on them with actions. For people of faith, this may mean daily spiritual disciplines of Scripture and prayer. Others may have different ways of staying centered or grounded.

If you’re a busy dad, hang in there. Remember to step back, breathe, laugh, and look at the bigger picture. And stay connected to other men who will listen, offer counsel, and encourage you. Together, we dads can not only survive, but we can thrive even with a busy lifestyle.

Action Points

  • Ask your kids and your wife or another trusted adult: Is my life well-balanced? Am I giving enough time and energy to being a dad?
  • Add activities with your kids to your calendar—even if it’s just hang out time.
  • Start a habit of writing encouraging notes to your kids regularly—or put your own spin on the idea.