I have learned that the best thing I can do for my children is to love them. I constantly struggle to find the balance between being a professional and parent. I love my job, but I love my family more and I want to ensure that they know that.
I had a wake up call moment when a mentor once told me that he broke many promises to his child when they were young because work always came first. He was trying to make up for that mistake. I did not want that to happen to me, so I made a decision to put my family first.
I am not perfect, I have made my share of mistakes but there are four important lessons that I have learned to love my children well.
1. Tell them — It is easy to assume that your children know that you love them. You can give them hugs and kisses, you can show them, but words also matter. They need to hear you tell them that you love them. If you don’t say “I love you” it might be easy for them to forget, especially when things go wrong.
2. Spend time with them – We have so many people and places demanding our time. This is my biggest down fall. If I am not careful I can schedule every minute of everyday. But quantity and quality matter when it comes to spending time with your children.
3. Be available to them – Day or night I let my children know that I am there for them. If they call me in the middle of the day I put everything down and listen to what they have to say. If they come into our room in the middle of the night I wake up and find out what is wrong. Feeling comfortable approaching me now with the little stuff is important because it will translate them feeling comfortable coming to me when the big stuff happens.
4. Create God- Moments with them — These are the special moments that they will treasure in their hearts forever. Carlos Whittaker has dubbed 2015 the year of adventure. He is creating 52 adventures for himself and his family. I LOVE THIS! I want to create more adventures for myself and my family. You children might not remember what you got them for Christmas last year, but they will treasure in their hearts the day you took them to the pool and had a cannonball contest, or the spontaneities weekend trip tent camping in New Hampshire.
The work-family balance is always a process. Somedays you are going to get it right, and other days you are going to wish you did things differently. But if you tell your kids that you love them, spend time with them, be available with them, and create God-Moments with them your kids will know that you love them.