how to sacrifice

10 Temporary Sacrifices Every All Pro Dad Should Make

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Theodore Roosevelt said, “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” Not only is that a principle that rings true, but it’s especially apropos for good fathers.

Being a great dad is hard because it involves learning how to sacrifice. All Pro Dads give up a certain amount of temporary happiness for their family’s future joy. The time we have with our children is short so it’s important to make it count. Now we aren’t saying some ‘me time’ isn’t okay occasionally. However, here are 10 temporary sacrifices every All Pro Dad should be making on a consistent basis.

Note: One sacrifice you won’t see listed is: “Your relationship with your wife.” Too many couples put their relationship on hold and say, “We’ll take care of us later,” because, “The kids come first.” Newsflash, dads, the absolute best thing you can do for your kids is to take care of your relationship with their mother.

1. Self (you’ll never miss it)

This shouldn’t be a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent one. The moment you had kids, self-focus took a back seat. Unless you are married, in which case, it took a back seat when you made that commitment. But here’s the thing, once you truly get the idea of servant leadership, you won’t miss the old way.

2. SOME career moves

Emphasis on the word some. A job that makes more money and gives more fulfillment, but leads to too much time away from the family may not be the best move right now. The key to a full life is in relationships. Keep your family relationships as the highest priority. Weigh promotions carefully because they could lead to a broken family. [Tweet This]

3. Privacy

Accessibility – both to children and spouse – is critically important. We all need the opportunity to re-charge, but extended ‘me’ time probably needs to go bye-bye when there are relationships to nurture.

4. Fun

By fun, we mean frivolous fun. Fun with your children, or your wife, however, is not frivolous at all.

5. Golf

We’re using golf euphemistically here. What we really mean is any activity you can’t share with the family but takes up a huge amount of time – or any potentially limited resource. If it involves time and/or money, and it’s only for you, we think a little sacrifice is in order.

6. Sports-marathons on TV

Remember three consecutive football games accompanied by $30 of snack foods? We recommend maybe one game and then a couple of hours of fun time with the family.

7. Poker night with the boys

It doesn’t have to be poker. This could involve stopping off for drinks with work pals three nights a week on the way home. You do the math. When it keeps you away from your family, the correct phrase is wasted time.

8. Most of your high-risk Bucket List items

OK, so we can scale El Capitan when the kids leave home. Sky-dive maybe on your 80th birthday. Ride a Harley coast-to-coast without a helmet after they’re through with college. Same goes for base-jumping and hang-gliding. Bottom line, your family needs you, not your life insurance payout.

9. Your love of video games

The most frequent playing male gamer – according to onlineeducation.net – is an average age of 35-year-old. Set an example of being physically active with your kids. Try playing outside with your kids and spend some quality time with your wife. Then you can incorporate you and your kids playing video games together, but that should not be the bulk of your interaction.

10. Anything other than sensible transportation

Yes, that two-seat sports car will probably have to wait.

Sound Off

What has been your greatest sacrifice for your family?

  • drrichardnorris

    I’ve said to many a job and career changes as my family always comes first. It has cost us financially, but the time invested in my family has far greater dividends.

  • ManOfTeal

    I call BS on #9. I love video games. My wife knew this before we got married and my children have been brought up around them. With a few exceptions, I own every major video game console going back to the Atari 2600. Video games are my hobby. You point it out as a negative in this list and I resent that. I get just as much, if not more, quality time playing Mario Kart with my wife and children as I would going outside with them so could we please stop painting video games with such a broad brush? Handled responsibly, video games can be a great tool to strengthen the family.

    • BJ_Foster

      Key words being “Handled responsibly”, I think that is what the article states. It’s not saying video games are bad, but it shouldn’t be the bulk of your interaction. It’s important to be active with your kids and do things together that don’t constantly bring the instant gratification of video games. I play video games with my kids as well, but I set times limits to ensure it’s not too much time.

    • KURTIS GARITANO

      The real hazard of using video games as a way to bond with your children is teaching them to spend their free time sitting on a couch only exercising their fingers. Get them outside, teach them the joys and value of sport and exercise. They will suffer the health benifits for a lifetime

      • ManOfTeal

        My son plays Lacrosse and is in Boy Scouts and my daughter is on the cheerleading squad and is also a Girl Scout. They are well versed in the value of sport and exercise. Video Games is what we do together as a family when we are not busy doing everything else.

  • TheHunter000

    I have to disagree with “Golf”. You have got to practice self-care as well. If your kids see a Dad that is taking care of himself physically, which also helps mentally, they will take that to heart. Now, you probably can’t train enough to be Mr Olympia. But not taking care of yourself at all does not provide much of an example, does it?

  • Paul Kelley

    You know what? Its hard, real hard. I struggled for a while thinking I was being selfless, but at a higher level, I wasn’t. For a while, I longed for the “me-time” and missed the “present-time.” Thanks be to God that I discovered the errors of this before too long. I have four children, three boys and a baby girl and I love them with all my heart and soul. While I had just two, I felt the same and wanted to be a good dad, but I also wanted the poker night, the beers out, the time away; so it was always an internal struggle. Being present with my family was sacrificed, to the brink of divorce. It took that to wake me up. God only intensifies our storms when we are really headed the wrong way. Family, including a present loving father, is the key to a culture of love and respect. We all need time, a little time, for a refresher; however, remember your wife who also needs a refresher. Don’t forget she’s tired sometimes too. Being a parent isn’t easy, but all you have to do is try your best and you’ll succeed. Your children will never regret the involvement you give while they are in your stewardship (remember they are God’s children first). We all need to pray for families across this country and the world. God Bless! Thank you for this article!

  • Julie

    I think the key here is moderation. Whether it’s poker night, video games, fishing or golf, any “dad” recreation in moderation that’s balanced with family time as the priority can and does work. Kids grow up and move away. You can’t sacrifice everything you love (hobbies, friends, etc.) while the kids are young, otherwise one day you’ll find yourself sitting on the couch in an empty house with no kids, no friends and nothing to do. My husband has always loved softball and played every week. Now that our boys are old enough…they play on dad’s team. They play in a league that has two and three generations playing together on many of the teams. Maintaining a “love” for something is also a great way to pass tradition down to your children and can build an incredible bond between fathers and their children.

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Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What would be the most difficult thing to live without and why?”

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