I hate being away from my family. I know, you would think that everyone would hate that, but you would be surprised by the number of dads that are fine with working away from home. They feel that it is a break from all the stresses of family life. That just isn’t me. I love my family and love every second that I get to spend with them.
Recently I had to travel for work and I was fortunate enough that I got to shorten the trip so I wouldn’t have to be away as long as I was initially scheduled. Even though I was just gone for two days it was enough for me to realize that I have finally grown up and really love being with my family.
Last year I had to travel for the same thing, a work trip where I was gone for a week. I was in Vegas, and even though I am LDS and don’t drink, I loved the shopping and could always find something to do. I was getting in shape and would walk up and down the strip forever. I loved going into the shops (Tom Ford, Burberry, Gucci), trying to find things I wanted to get myself because it was close to my birthday. I love shopping and getting myself something nice is always a treat. But at what point is it time to stop spending so much on yourself and focus more about your family and the things that you really need?
As I was walking past my favorite stores this year all I kept thinking was how much I would rather get stuff for my kids, my wife or just save money and put it towards our kitchen remodel that we are in the process of completing.
Also, instead of being out all night in the shops I would rather Facetime with my family. My last night in Vegas I was thinking about walking to the shops so that I could get more steps on my Fitbit, but instead I stayed in my room and talked to my family. The joy that filled my body when my son told me he loved me and would kiss the phone, is unlike anything, even buying a bow tie at Tom Ford or a polo shirt from Burberry. Yeah those things are great, but the joy you get when your kids actually miss you and want to see you is the absolute best.
My wife told me my son woke up asking for me and throughout the day every time the doorbell would ring he would run to it and yell daddy, only to be disappointed. It made me grateful that I don’t have to be gone for work and can enjoy the simple things with my family. I get to be there when he wakes up and get him his breakfast and hold him in my arms as he’s waking up. I can change my daughter’s diaper in the morning so that my wife can get a few extra minutes of sleep.
I love being with my family and truly am happy to be with them every moment that I can. I get it, a lot of the time dads can’t always be there, but when you can make the most of those cherished moments.