Finding the Calm in the Chaos as a Parent
The Dream of Work Life Balance is Unrealistic
By no means am I perfect. Honestly, I feel like I fall short half of the time. It’s a constant battle to allocate the right amount of time to everything that is important in my life.
There are things in life that we’d rather not do but are necessary to supply for the family. Others are things that bring us happiness like playing a musical instrument, boxing or designing. And others require a certain type of love and energy that can feel like a hit or miss every day.
In my day to day life, My schedule looks a bit like this:
4am — 6:30am | Passion Work — edit films, write answers, respond to the community
6:30am — 7:00am | Get ready for work
7:00am — 8:00am | Film an episode of #creativeswithkids or #realwill while driving to work
8:00am — 1:00pm | Design, Web Infrastructure, Film & Promotions as Creative Director at New Human
1:00pm-1:30pm | Break / Snack on food / Work on edit from the previous day’s #creativeswithkids/export
1:30pm — 4:30pm | Design, Web Infrastructure, Film & Promotions as Creative Director at New Human
4:30pm — 5:30pm | Drive Home / Listen to Audible
Now, this is where a bit of the frustration comes in because I have to make hard choices. I can either spend a couple of hours with my sons & wife which is what I always lean towards for obvious reasons.
But, the reality is, Dinner needs to be cooked, the house needs to be cleaned, day to day responsibilities like shopping, car maintenance, etc fall in this pot too.
I also haven’t really had a real meal all day either because I rush out the door with just enough time to just make it to work.
Not to mention a reset button from the full day of being at work and on the road.
I always feel like my attention is so divided in this time, that it gives me anxiety, and makes me mad — ultimately making me hard to be around sometimes.
5:30pm-7:00pm | Hey Boys, Hey Wife / Clean Up Kitchen, Dining Room & Living Room
7:00pm | Laura is really good about making master chef dinners, but anyone that cooks 3 meals a day, 7 days a week can tell you it’s exhausting. I try to cook a couple of dinners per week which always fall late and are lackluster in comparison.
The kids are supposed to be in bed at 7:00pm, but of course, won’t be on these days where my attention is divided in 10 different directions.
8:00pm-8:20pm | Dinner — Exhausted
8:20pm-9:00pm | Sometimes we get them in the bath, sometimes not, I try to give the boys a bit more attention before sending them off to bed (but never enough time)
9:00pm — 9:30pm | Usually, Laura and I both need a moment to reset our brains and just do our own thing for about 30 minutes. I typically take this time to put all of the camera gear on chargers and sneak in a Casey Neistat video.
9:30pm — 10:30pm | Date/Movie night — we try to sneak in an episode of the Blacklist laying in bed. Put Titan to sleep. And fall asleep.
10:30pm — 4:00am | Sleep — and wake up in the middle of the night to give Titan a bottle
All that’s in the perfect world where we don’t have arguments, no kid has a meltdown, Titan doesn’t stay up past his bedtime, the dinner isn’t burned or missing an ingredient that’s need from another Walmart run.
I don’t believe my schedule is that much different than most. A constant struggle to manage work/life/passion balance.
There aren’t enough hours in the day. Nor energy. But all we can do is be Human.
A Few Practical Parent Hacks
If I feel like I haven’t given Eyden, King or Titan enough time yesterday, I’ll try to make it more of a priority to be more present today and opt for a $5 pizza.
If the house is a disaster and it’s affecting the stress of the household, I’ll sacrifice time with the family to get our home back to home.
If I feel like my wife and I haven’t really talked to each other in days, we’ll put the kids to bed early and cook together or watch something we really like cuddled up in bed.
If we both have NO energy, we’ll let the kids stay up late, knowing the house will probably suffer. And just lay in bed next to each other Youtubing or Facebooking.
If I see the wife has had a really hard day with the kids, I tell her to go do her thing and reset.
If I’ve had an extremely stressful day, I’ll try to take a shower to reset.
In most of these situations, there’s no way to close our eyes early, but we do try to work around the stress.
So coming full circle.
I’ve tried to do passion work at every time of day, and as I’m not an early morning person, 4am is the only time where the world is asleep. Where there are no distractions (minus a baby cry or cat meow)