Investing Time in your Children

22 Apr

clockface1I am a father that places massive worth in the time that I spend with my son; especially now in these first years of his life. I know the whole argument of quality vs quantity; that more does not mean better and the that the time we do spend must be worthwhile. Sometimes my son just wants me to be there, to be nearby and to be there to watch or help. A lot of the time he needs me to be involved and interactive.
At my work I make an effort to arrive and leave on time – not because I am a clock watcher but because the time I have with my Wife and son is important. There is always an exception and sometimes work must come first – but not everyday, not every weekend, that would be criminal.

However with this in mind I still do not think that I spend enough time with Stephen. Here is my scenario for weekdays:clockface2

  • 8 times out of 10 Stephen will sleep until 7am, but I have to leave by 7:20am – so in the morning I am lucky to get 30 minutes with my son.
  • Most days I will return from work before 6pm, after which Stephen will be feed, bathed and put to sleep by 7:30pm.

According to that I will be fortunate to spend 1 and a hours a day with my son. Is that the basis on which a strong relationship can be built? I don’t think so. And this with my strong dedication to balance my work and family life, imagine the fathers that put in extra hours regularly at work and sacrifice weekends a lot. Scary.
So with this in mind, I ask you as a father or a mother of a child/children of any age: How much time do you spend a week with your children?


[Photos by Cathérine and ckaiserca]

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13 Responses to “Investing Time in your Children”

  1. Allen Taylor April 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

    • Phillip Gibb April 22, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

      thanks man, hope you stop by and comment again,
      keen to hear thoughts and input from all over
      🙂

  2. Ron April 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    I also make a point of ‘doing the hours’ at work, for much the same reasons as you. There are so few hours in a day as it is I just cant afford to cheat my kids by giving time that should be theirs to someone else.

    • Phillip Gibb April 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

      word!
      its a balance with all sorts of priorities pulling from every angle, even blogging.

  3. Gareth April 23, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    Dude you have no options for no-time… Not looking out for us non-parents 😉

    • Phillip Gibb April 23, 2009 at 6:45 am #

      Sorry dude – you will have get yourself a child of your own. lol.
      not too soon hey 😉

      otherwise how much time do you think is important?

  4. Charmi April 23, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    It depresses me to even try and work it out. 😦

    • Phillip Gibb April 23, 2009 at 10:35 am #

      don’t be, you do a good job 🙂
      your kids are great

  5. Glen April 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    I manage to spend a great deal of the monring with Joshua since he wakes up at around 5:30 for 6 and spend around the same amount of time in the evening as you do.

  6. Joe April 23, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    Philip,

    My heart aches for you. I’ve been blessed to work from home for over two years now. I was working from home before my wife became pregnant with our son–now 16 months.

    When I look back on his first year of life, I’m staggered by the things I would have missed out on had I not been here. I am so grateful to God for His allowing me this opportunity to be here for all these moments: moments that you can never recapture.

    As a result, it’s almost hard for me to calculate the amount of time I spend. I’m so frequently out of my office holding my son, reading to him, etc., if only for a few minutes at a time. The only time I’m not with him is when my wife steps out to run errands.

    It may not be for everyone, working from home, but I cannot imagine going back to a “cube farm.” If God wills, I will continue to strive working to keep this arrangement in the future.

    • Phillip Gibb April 24, 2009 at 4:49 am #

      Word.
      My wife; Kathy, works from home. So she get to see a lot of Stephen; his antics, funnies, tantrums, etc.
      But it does not appear to be a easy thing to do, kids this age require so much attention.

  7. Rachel April 30, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    Hi 🙂

    Your son is gorgeous and you are right, it is important to be there for him. But I can see from other posts on your blog that you spend great, really fun time with your son. And as he grows up he will remember you being there. He doesn’t understand the amount of time but will know you are there when he wakes in the morning and goes to sleep at night. That’s an awesome thing to do for your son.

    As he gets older he will also understand that you are working to build an economic foundation and security for your family, and he will respect you for it.

    Stephen is lucky that he gets to spend so much time with your wife and it is great that your family is able to do this.

    My own father worked 7 days a week when I was small and I don’t really have any recollection of him at all during that time.

    • Phillip Gibb April 30, 2009 at 10:41 am #

      thanks.
      b.t.w. I like your site – forwarded it to my wife 🙂

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