have a challenge for you. See the opportunities in front of you today. I don’t often get this right and I’m about to share some of that. Basically, I’ve learned a few things about what to do and what not to do. Here are 3 opportunities dads miss every day.
1. Starting Your Day Right
We think we need more sleep—and maybe we do some days. But what we most often need is for our mornings to start with purpose. If your house is like mine, early morning is the only opportunity for quiet time for yourself. Trust me, if you miss the morning, you’ll miss the day.
Every morning, you have an opportunity to set your day on a firm foundation. I need my morning quiet time to think, reflect, and plan. Jesus said, “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much…” If you want to be faithful as a father, start with your morning.
2. Unplugging From Work
This part of my day is where I’m weakest. Recently, I asked my kids if they’d put their phones down for “just a moment.” One of my daughters replied, “But, Dad, you never put your phone down.” My first thought was, “Dang, she’s rude.” My next thought was, “But, she’s not wrong.” I may be home and in the same room with my family, but I’m checking emails, news, or social media on my phone. I think I’m doing family time and crushing some work stuff. But all I’m really doing is spending time with my phone—not my family. If you create a lifestyle of not unplugging from work, you’re missing a big opportunity to be intentional. You’re ultimately letting your family know something else is more important.
There are a few things I’ve learned that help me unplug from work. A good day means cleaning my email inbox, skimming my schedule for the next day, and reflecting on how I spent my day. On my best days, I literally shut down and close my laptop. That’s my signal to be home with my family.
3. Prepping for Tomorrow
Imagine you’ve completed all your other “opportunities” for the day. Don’t stop now. Many dads go wrong at this stage. They’re thinking, “I’ve worked hard. It’s time to kick back!” The dad who doesn’t have time for himself in the morning is the same dad who stayed up too late last night. What you do before bed can prepare you well for the next day.
On my best nights, I make sure the house is somewhat in order and review my to-do list for the next day. I have a whole routine I go through before bed. Once I’m settled, this is often the time when my kids want to talk. Honestly, they become question-asking philosophers at night because they’re avoiding brushing their teeth.