There are times a flash of a speeding wife has startled me. There are moments when we have felt like two rocket ships passing in the night. There have been days when we’ve wished we could trade places with the snoring dog. Have you ever had days like these?
When you are a parent, a seemingly quiet day can turn into a frantic speed fest in a flash. Babies need changed, the boss sends a text about a report she needs this afternoon and the older child just announced that breakfast cereal in toaster was a bad idea after all.
The super parent’s life can spin out of control in a flash. How can you maintain perspective and get a grip on reality when you smell burnt flakes and raisins coming from the kitchen?
- Decide ahead of time what are the most important priorities in your life. For me, I decided early in my career to place God first, family second and career third. You may not agree with my priorities, and that is fine. However, you DO need to decide what takes precedence in your life. It is dangerous to place career or the company first. Two separate companies downsized me in fifteen years. The career won’t be there for you when you’re going through tough times. In fact, it can MAKE the tough times.
- Leave some margins of time in your day. It’s a recipe for failure if you fill your day so much that it’s a disaster if any surprises happen. It is just as important to schedule open time. If it takes twenty minutes to get to work, plan for thirty minutes. If you have a doctor’s appointment, assume it may take up to four hours to finish.
- Learn the difference between the urgent and the important. There are some things and people that will make their agenda urgent when it really isn’t important. I’ve learned when someone comes with an urgent request to say, “I could do project A, but that means I will have to put aside project B. Is that fine with you?” Of course, it doesn’t help much if different guys are coming to you with different projects. But then that is the time to ask the question to yourself.
- Limit your kids’ participation in activities. Junior may have a great pitching arm, but that doesn’t mean you have to put him in every baseball program within the tri-state area. Kids need time buffers in their lives even more than you do.
- They will have homework.
- They will have to depend on others for transportation.
- They need to be allowed down time so they can just be kids.
So if you find yourself with a cape and believe you can be faster than a speeding bullet, slow down and reevaluate your life. Sooner or later you’ll be confronted with kryptonite.