Daddy Blog: The Invisible Man, “Daddy”

There was a time when I was much younger that I forgot the shape of my fathers face. I remember sitting in my bedroom trying hard to remember what he looked like and becoming very frustrated. My mother had walked into my room to check on me. I’m guessing I wasn’t making my normal loud volume of noise before bed. When she looked at me I just remember my vision tearing up. My mother sat on the edge of the bed and asked me what was wrong. I told her I couldn’t remember what daddy looked like, and just started crying.

This was a period in time in my father’s life were he had started his own company and things were going well, but it caused him to stay at work late. I would get up and go to school without seeing my father and would go to bed well before he got home. He was doing what he could to get food on the table and a roof over our heads. Yet as a child I didn’t understand this. I only knew that in my memories his face was a blur.

Now I find myself on the opposite end of a similar situation, and I’m haunted by this memory. I have a good job, but the hours are not always conducive to family life. There have been may weeks were I will work a shift from 3pm till 11pm go home sleep for several hours only to leave for work at 6am and working till 3pm.  I know the boys are old enough they aren’t going to forget what I look like, but I still worry about the amount of time I’m missing from their family time. I worry that while I’m working night shift that my boys are eating dinner at home staring at that empty chair at the head of the table and wondering why I’m not there.

Kirsten is great about it, and I know the kids never feel unloved, but I’m still left with this hole in my heart every time I think of all the moments I miss with them. Every friday night that I work while they have family movie night, or go downtown for First Friday I’m at work wondering if the money is worth the time I’m missing with them.

One of the trends I keep hearing about is “Work Life Balance,” and how we are supposed achieve this in families where both parents are required to work. Each parent has to learn to balance the needs of our family with Football practice, crying babies, and healthy dinners, combined with infiltration of work via technology into our already shrinking personal life.

My goal is to do all this and not become “The Invisible Man.”

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