Over the last few years, I’ve found 2 ways to balance work and family in order to feel connected despite a busy schedule.
1. Communicate your schedule.
From daily practice and meetings to weekly drills and game plans, we practiced how we’d communicate to be ready for game day. As dads, we need to make sure we’re talking about our schedules with our families. My schedule gets more demanding during football season. My wife and I talk over our schedules so I don’t miss any special dates or upcoming events. With my kids, I discuss it when I have to go away—I explain what I do for work and I tell them about the city where I’ll be staying.
Talking about my work not only helps my kids understand what I do for a living but also provides a connection point while I’m away. When I return home, we talk about who I met and what I saw. You can create the same connection points with your family. You might keep a big calendar in a central location. I know dads who use mealtime to review upcoming events with the family. Depending on the age and stage of your kids, you might use apps to share your calendar. Use your schedule not only to connect so your kids know when you’re away but also to share your experiences with them.
2. Ask how you can help.
In football, you never stand around. You always have a job to do. No matter your position on the team, your role is to take initiative, plug in somewhere, and work. Dads can make the mistake of not making the most of the time they have at home. I found it helpful to ask my wife and kids what they need from me. So when I’m not working, I ask these simple questions: “What do you need from me? Where do you need me to be?” Asking helps me know where I can help.
“Show your wife and kids you have them on your mind, you’re involved, and you are looking to serve.”