Being present – for my children

There are so many things that I would like to do. But the truth is you can’t be brilliant at absolutely everything (in my opinion). So one thing I’ve decided to focus attention on is being an exceptional dad. I figure if I’m going to measure my life by anything it would be this – what do my children think of me.

Because all too often I’ve put other, less important things ahead of my children. Sadly that’s a choice I’ve made, not something that was forced on me (although I think I may have told myself that at times so it didn’t seem like my responsibility).

Relentlessly trying to hit objectives at work and trying to cram as much into every day, every week is a poor substitute for being present in the moment with your children.

Even when I am spending time with them I find myself checking my phone, replying to emails, checking social media, whatsapp, the list goes on. I’m simply not present for them.

A while ago I discussed moving to a flexible working contract with the COO – she was very supportive of this. But I stalled on filing the paperwork, I made excuses – because I wanted to be exceptional at everything. Amongst many things I was worried that changing to a flexible working contract would impact my job and at some level I chose to keep things as they were. But the reality is I have a great team who work with me and having one non working day out of every ten is not going to impact my performance.

Anyway, I filed the paperwork this week – I do want to have a great career and I want to be an even better dad – if I’m going to focus on one thing, then that is my priority and if I need to say no to or reprioritise some other things then I will. I do believe I can be great at my job as well – but the one thing I really give a f*** about is making sure I am an exceptional dad, that I am present when I am with my children and not distracted by phones, social media or what happened that day and that I make as much time as possible for them.

I won’t get this time again.

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