Growing up and during my single days and even during the early days in marriage I was funny, upbeat, and an especially cheerful and social person. But add in to the mix a wife, 6 kids, homeschooling, 2 dogs, and running 2 businesses with my wife, life can get busy and challenging. There’s not much time in there for goofing around, right? Sound familiar?
One evening our family was spending some time together in our basement, one of our favorite places to hang out and play games. Of course with 6 kids – there is a lot of goofing around, laughs and yes bumps and bruises. During one of those goofy moments I was bumped, not hard at all, but I was typing on my laptop. When that happened, I reacted in a frustrated tone. My 17 year old who was the one who bumped me said to me: “why are you so grouchy?… all the time!” For a moment my pride and self defense mechanism mode was ON. I was ready to unleash all my valid reasons, some might sound familiar:
I’m working “ALL THE TIME” to provide for you!
I’m always busy fixing the things you guys break!
I don’t get to sleep – pretty much every night, do you? I bet it was nice to sleep in a little this Saturday morning
I have a lot on my mind and I just want a quiet moment where no one’s going to bother me – seriously, just 5 minutes!
I just want to clarify that all of these thoughts come from a place of I’m a dad and I’m doing these things because I love you and want to take care of you, but why was it making me so grouchy? That wasn’t how I wanted my kids to think of me – as the “Grouchy Dad.”
In our home we spend a lot of time together because we homeschool our children AND my wife and I work from home. Our kids do have various classes and activities, but All those important tasks, thoughts and projects are alway present just like if you have to go work in an office. You might say well – you can take a break and go to the “basement” and spend quality time together. But in reality sometimes we never clock out from our work and school mode. There is always something to do. So we are still learning to get better at clocking out and creating quality time. But in this instance it was not planned, it was not my agenda.
Yes there is time to work and get stuff done. That time needs to be scheduled and honored to provide for your family but being a dad is full of surprises, so when they come I just wear my “schedule is flexible hat” so yes we have surprises, and we have them pretty much every day – just SMILE and LAUGH a little bit more. It really does make all the difference.
But wait, how about instead of being grouchy I would have just laughed and joined in the fun? What would my kids think of their dad then?
He is fun
He makes time for us
He is not annoyed by us
Wow, my dad is soooo fun – I want those qualities in my future spouse! (You just created a role model for your kids and their future relationships)
***You change the energy of your home when you Laugh and Smile. Their mood. They feel empowered and excited, ready to tackle the day and even their personal challenges. All of this because you just simply LAUGHED.
I work really hard to remember that my work & tasks have an expiration day but my kids don’t. They will always be my kids, but I only have them at home for a little while and one day they’ll move to a nest of their own. I just want them to fly back and visit us every now and then… because they know I’m here ready to laugh with them, I enjoy life and my time with them, I am actually pretty fun – and even sometimes funny.
Just Laugh and Smile, try it.