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Juggling Life!

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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!

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Tune In Or Get Tuned Out!

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Most of you don’t know that I maintain (to the best of my ability) a website entitled “The Step-Dad Diary”. I choose not to combine the two blogs (the one from my page and this as the other is dedicated to step-parenting, parenting, mixed-families, etc…) but I thought this was a pretty good post that might come in handy to many parents out there or parents to-be!

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much more time I spent “targeting” my Step-Son for things I didn’t want him to do or things I thought he was doing wrong than I was trying to develop a good relationship and parental report with him. I felt like I was failing at becoming a great Step-Dad and someone important in his life and I couldn’t figure out why.

We don’t enjoy the same sports so I was never as engaged as he was when he wanted to watch basketball, football, or sports along those lines. I might, just might, be there in a physical sense but definitely not in a mental sense. I’m more of a non-mainstream sport guy like rugby, lacrosse, volleyball, skiing, golf, swimming, etc… We both like electronics, social media, cool apps, and things along those lines but when he’s doing that stuff he definitely doesn’t want me looking over his shoulder and watching what he’s typing. Okay, I understand but that doesn’t leave too many ways for us to connect and bond.

Buuuuuttttt…we do have a Xbox now and I really have no clue how to play these games with fifty-thousand buttons on the controllers and crazy themes. Guess who does? Yup, you guessed it…my Step-Teen! (and probably all young teenagers these days) So, I found a common meeting ground for us where he could lead, teach me a thing or two (or ten), run the game and keep me alive while at the same time we could “bond” and spend some quality dude time together.

Now, I have no idea why I didn’t think of that before because he is always itching to play the Xbox as that’s in the family room on the big TV and he has a Playstation in his room (which isn’t as cool by the way) and all I had to do was ask if he wanted to play and he jumped all over it! It gave me a chance to learn how to play, have some side conversation with him about nothing deep, and he had a blast (I think) showing me how bad I was since he had to keep bringing me back to life in the game.

The bottom line was that I was able to just stop knit-picking at him for small things and just hang out for a while. For me, it really wasn’t about the game (though it was fun.) It was about getting past that barrier where my Step-Son would almost literally run to his room when he heard me coming in because he knew I was going to find something to target.

I realized that I have to get on a certain level to connect with each of my Step-Kids. For my Step-Son it might be video games, for my Step-Daughter it might be the swimming pool and I’m sure it will change for both of them over time. If I continued going in the direction I was headed, I was likely to permanently hinder any chance at having a good relationship with my teen because he’s already getting up there in age and maybe even with my Step-Daughter.

I’m going to make it a point to not be so picky about everything. My OCD kicks in every now and then but I have to realize most people don’t hone in on every little thing that’s out of place or a bedroom that’s a little out of order like I do and I shouldn’t expect them to. That’s not to say there’s no time to put my foot down but I have to make sure I leverage that with fun time as well!

Now, I gotta roll…GAME ON!!! 😉

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Truth Be With You!

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“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” – Henry David Thoreau

What a great way to live and be able to look at yourself in the mirror each day knowing that you have nothing to hide, be ashamed of or lie about throughout your daily encounters or endeavors. The quote above seems so simple yet there are so many that find being true along these lines a struggle.  My thought is that if you can simply abide by the “law” of truth, especially to yourself, you can rest easily knowing that you are on the right path.

Being true to your work is difficult to a degree in that many people are out to find financial gain rather than doing work they truly believe in or feel drawn to doing.  Often times, finding that great paying job is done so at the expense of another.  Honing in on that young Soldier outside a military base with pay-day loans so they can come in and get money to pay their bills without fully understanding that they are going to be charged 45% interest on whatever they are given.  I, for one, couldn’t feel good about that regardless of how much money the job, or lie, is putting in my pocket. The great thing is no one has to do that…it’s a choice! You can choose do something you love and you can make a living by following your passion.  It might not be easy, but it can be done and we can all make it happen.  As I like to say, “You can take others along for the ride with you!” And that can make all the difference in the world.

Additionally, your word is your bond.  Once you compromise that, it’s very hard to regain faith and confidence in those deceived. I learned this at a young age, as most of us do, through little untruths to my parents…nothing devastating but it just showed me that once I told them something that wasn’t the COMPLETE truth, it was just as bad as not telling the truth at all.  Being true to your word is almost, if not, the most important thing I can do in life. I can’t work, have relationships, be trusted, or even left alone to accomplish a small task if people don’t have faith that I am going to do what I say I will.  I admit that I have inadvertently slipped here and there by perhaps missing a meeting or something along those lines but it was definitely not with mal intent and I was honest about my reason…if I over slept, I said so, if I forgot, I said so, etc….It’s not always what people wanted to hear but it was the truth and though it may have been uncomfortable to come clean, I knew I had to so that’s exactly what I did!

Friends…I make sure I choose my friends wisely and if their values aren’t aligned with mine that doesn’t mean we can’t talk, it just means they might not be the best choice for me to spend too much time with of put too much into what they have to say.  “Friend” is a term used very loosely…I have my Facebook friends whom I may or may not have ever been very close with but like(d) and am interested in seeing what is going on with them from time to time and then I have the other extreme where I can count on them to drop whatever it is they are doing and come to help out if I just say the word, and the same goes for them.  Friends are a gift, a true gift, and should always be treated as such.

I know this is a bit lengthy but I ran across this quote today (as I’m a quote guy in case you can’t tell) and it really spoke to me.  You may have a different outlook on the words of Henry D. Thoreau which is great.  My hope is that that you got as much out of this short sentence as I did and that you have a blessed day!

Be True!

~ Brett

 

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Pinterest…Why not just Google?

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Pinterest! My personal thought, it’s great fun though I haven’t quite figured out the business benefit to the site and guess what…I’m not too interested in that aspect!

I love this Social Media site and have become a bit of a “Pinaddict” and not ashamed to admit it. I would gladly sit around a table, raise my hand and say “My name is Brett and I’m a Pinning Addict.”

I thoroughly enjoy looking at what inspires others, their interests, and have found some motivation to incorporate into my own hobbies and interests. Isn’t that the point? I have say that I also like sharing some of my own stuff with friends and followers to get feedback and even show off a little. I have noticed, however, that I have to judge on what people think about my personal pins based on how many likes or repins they give as very few folks take the time to give writing feedback or say what the think. I try and leave comments but sometimes am guilty of not writing feedback either…so I can’t judge nor is it my place. Additionally, it’s often difficult writing depending on what type of device you’re accessing the site from.

The option to search for things based on topics or even keywords is great. I always find great material even if its just a great photo of something that I was thinking about at that point in time. Some of my favorites are others’ art work, photos of animals and motivations posters that they have found elsewhere on the web and shared with Pinterest.

So, the question is why not just google for this type if information? This is a question my wife argues with me about all the time. My thought is that if you are looking for recipes, etc…then that might be the way to go (unless you find a pic of grub with a linked URL beneath it; this is where the business part of Pinterest would fit in). Or if you you want to sort through tons of images on Google to find the perfect one for your needs. BUT, users of Pinterest have pretty much weeded out all the “junk” for you so the quality of the content on the site is better…in my own opinion.

That’s why for me…I just don’t google everything. I don’t want to sort through sites simply to find uninspiring inspiration or spend time sorting through everything. I guess it all depends on what you’re doing and what your intentions are. I do it for fun and leave it at that.

Will it last? Yeah, I think it will…people are always going to want to see cool stuff and not have to “like” a page or ask to “friend” someone to see some cool content.

These are just some of my thoughts…I could go on and on all day and night about it. In the meantime, check out some boards, check me at Pinterest.com/rbsimps00 and see what you think. I have a feeling you’ll dig it!

Until next time…I’m out!

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