Theodore Roosevelt said, “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” Not only is that true, but it’s especially apropos for 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. We aren’t saying some me-time isn’t OK occasionally. However, here are 10 temporary sacrifices every All Pro Dad should make 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.” The 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
Weigh promotions carefully because they could lead to a broken family. 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.
Accessibility—both to children and spouse—is critically important. We all need the opportunity to recharge, but extended me-time probably needs to go bye-bye when there are relationships to nurture.
By fun, we mean frivolous fun. Fun with your children, or your wife, however, is not frivolous at all.
We’re using golf euphemistically here. What we really mean is any activity you can’t share with the family but that takes up a huge amount of your time or any other potentially limited resource. If it involves time and/or money, and it’s only for you, 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. Skydive on your 80th birthday. Ride a Harley coast-to-coast without a helmet after they’re through with college. The same goes for base-jumping and hang-gliding. Bottom line is, 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 years 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?