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JugglingLife

“Juggling work and parental responsibilities is no easy task, but I’m trying my  best and just like everything else there are good days and there are bad days.” – Ali Landry

There are so many things going on from day to day between family, work, obligations, hobbies, etc…that it’s often hard to manage everything at once.  I always hear that I need to set a list of priorities and work from there but that it difficult in itself.  For example; Quality time with my Kids and family need to be of the highest priority but how can I put that above going to work and fulfilling the needs of my job at the highest level possible.

Sometimes, that’s easy as the Kids are gone and I can focus solely on work (which sometimes requires me to develop presentations, attend functions, etc… on weekends) but that’s okay because the Kids may be gone, my Wife at work and me home alone to focus.  Other times that’s not as easy as I may have focus my efforts on the same types of task while my Kids are home looking for some quality time and attention. 

The bottom line is that it’s doable.  Doable in terms of “do what you can when you can do it!” Maybe I don’t have time to engage in my hobbies one day or week but that’s okay, there will be time at some point.  I had plenty of “free” time this weekend to do just that but I was feeling under the weather with a sore throat and sinus pain (seems to be going around recently…especially in my home!) That’s just life…and I couldn’t foresee that coming but it did and I dealt with it.  So rather than sit and bask in my facial misery, I watched a couple movies with the kids and even went so far as to start watching episodes of “Once Upon a Time” with my wife and Step-Daughter…pretty girly fairy tale series but we all seemed to enjoy it  nevertheless.  This isn’t our normal genre of flicks but we all kinda got into it and really enjoyed both the series on Netflix and the time we were spending together.  Zack was a little too “cool” to watch it with us but that’s understandable as he is 14 years old and a boy so I can’t blame him in the least.

There’s always so much going on in our home on a daily basis, especially during the week between dance classes, football practice and games, work, doctors’ appointments, household chores, etc…that it really is difficult to set a list of priorities.  It really does take some mastery of juggling these things but above all, working as a team with Lisa to make it all happen is essential.

Perhaps setting a list of priorities at the beginning of each day is more beneficial than trying to set an ongoing list that stands firm.  Values are something that don’t have change such as service, ethics, manners, God, love, etc… but maybe setting a daily priority task is better than trying to set a priority task and leaving it alone.  Maybe I can set a list of priorities for a few days or even a week but they might need some tweaking or adjusting as the time goes by…we’ll see because that’s what I am going to try and do! 

I know one “priority” that doesn’t require me juggling, just requires me to ease up a bit (as I know I’ve said before) in my own home is to stop being so “knit-picky”…that’s really not going over so well and I know I should save that sort of stuff for when I really need to “bust it out” otherwise it might not be quite as effective!

Anyway, happy “Mastering” your juggling Step-Dads! Let me know how it all works out for you or if you have any advice for The Step-Dad in training! Hit me at brett@stepdaddiary.com .

 I’ve been doing my best to keep the spam emails and comments down so I moderate them all before they’re posted but rest assured…if something good comes along, I’ll be sure to re-post or share accordingly!

Love, Time, Attention…Give It Freely!

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familyrules

My Step-Kids have the distinct privilege of always hearing me nagging them to clean up their rooms, pick up their trash, do their homework, eat with better manners, and turn down the volume on the television. Lucky them, right?!?!! Well, in a way, yeah…lucky them! They have someone teaching them discipline, rules, respect, and that they can’t always have things their way! But, there is a “however” here…

Yes, the items mentioned above are important to instill in my children (Son, Step-Son, Step-Daughter) but they can’t be the sole focus of interaction I have with them. There needs to be a healthy balance of discipline and just plain old fun bonding time. For example, if I want Zack to open his door for a while and crack the windows to get some fresh air in then I am far more likely to get positive results without attitude if we have recently spent some time throwing the football, going out to grab some food together, or something along those lines. Additionally, that bonding time spent doing the “good” stuff may inspire him to open up about his daily life and tell me what’s really going on with him from day to day. Perhaps there are some things he really wants to talk to me about but is turned off because I may come across as too “bossy” or “militant” at times…I don’t know but it’s worth a shot!

Girls might seem a little tougher for men to relate to at first. Aleah is into dolls and dolls really freak me out for some reason but I’ve noticed she also likes to play iPod games or get on the computer with me. She likes to color, write, and even excel by practicing math problems which I’m all in for! Maybe that’s a bonding opportunity in itself!

The bottom line is that all our Kids, Step-Kids or Biological, are longing for our attention. They just want to know they are loved and we have to make time to ensure they internalize the fact that we do love, care, support, and want the best for them.

I have been great at instilling a “sort” or discipline but I really need to work at the playful bond effort to be more effective in all areas. It’s important to me for my Kids to see and respect me not only as a dictator or rules but also as a comforting, loving, and reliable confidant.

Best of luck to each of you! Step-Daddin’ ain’t easy…but it’s definitely rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Generously Integrated 😉

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