Something that I have been grappling with since Logan was born is the use of my “free time”. It’s very easy to tell people that when you have a kid, none of your time is your own. And for the most part that’s true. But in this day and age of constant connection, it’s much easier said than done. There is always something happening on the Internet (this week it was the slap heard around the world on Chris Rock’s face), there’s always something to learn, my Reddit feed is endlessly fun and YouTube is full of cool stuff that’s begging for me to watch. On top of that, there’s housework and keeping a marriage alive. Oh yeah, then get-togethers with friends and family too. I can tell my students that life only gets harder and more complex, but you get better at juggling multiple time constraints and managing stressors. I guess that still holds true, but it doesn’t make it anymore fun to experience it. Often times, I feel like I’m missing out on the outside world because of my adult responsibilities. As much as I know that this isn’t true because there’s a world of interaction happening inside my own home. But a little part of me still looks out and wonders. I hate to admit it but it’s something that I grapple with internally.
I imagine reassessing personal time this is something that all parents eventually go through as they form family norms and spend time together. But something that Caitlyn said the other day struck with me. She said that your kids are only little kids for a few years and that’s it. For all the spilled food, messy hands, sleepless nights, worrying, achy backs, and missed naps, this time in my life with my son at this age is finite. So for all the good and the bad that comes along with it, there’s an end date to all this and there will some a time when he’s asking me to borrow my car and leave for hours on end. As good as that sounds right now, I’m sure that I’ll miss him he’s gone.
Hang in there, Dad.