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“Dad, don’t go to work.”

My daughter has been stopping me at the door and telling me these words on a daily basis for the last two weeks. I am blessed to have a job that enables me to come home at night, but these words still break my heart. I remember when I was young and on deployment, my wife and I would say goodbye knowing we probably wouldn’t hear from each other for a while except for the occasional email. It was hard, but we knew what we were getting into when we got married. My children do not have that same understanding.

Kids don’t know the sacrifices we have to make to provide for them, nor do they understand the “why,” they just know we leave for extended periods of time. How do we ensure a bond between ourselves and our children, while still doing what we can to provide for our family?

Make the most of the time you have available.

When I get home, the last thing I want to do is get on the floor. My back hurts. I am tired. And my mind is still racing from all of the conversations and duties I just left at work.

My daughter loves when I pretend to be a bear. She wants me to get on the floor and carry her around the house on my back, growling at my wife and other daughter and pretending to bite everyone. I often don’t want to do it, but I get on that floor anyway. When I am done, and she is laughing and out of nowhere she says, “I love you, daddy!” I realize everything I do is for them, even when I don’t feel like it-the work, the sacrifice, but most importantly the time.

Our lives are different. Our schedules look different; and our families look different.

I want to hear from you.

I want to hear your stories and your strategies. Email me at drew@gooddads and you can have an opportunity to tell others how you make the most of your time.

A person holding a baby and sitting on a bench in front of a waterfallDescription automatically generated with low confidence

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