Legacy Of Fun

Is It Better to Be Absent, or Present But Unavailable?

8 comments

I have been blessed twice in a row with jobs that allow me to occasionally work from home.

A HUGE benefit in terms of:

  • Commute time
  • Dress Code
  • Food / Beverage availability
  • Face time with the family and dog

But is it hurting in terms of the legacy of fun I’m trying to leave my daughter?

  • I have time for quick hugs, but not to play a game.
  • I have time for a smooch, but not to read a book.
  • I can eat lunch with the family, but not play at the park.
  • My daughter can visit me in the office, but she can’t stay.

I am present in the house, but not really available.

What are your thoughts on this?

Is it better to have at least a little contact on the “work from home” days?
Or should I be taking my work to the nearest coffee shop?

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Lindsay

Jan 04,2011 @ 01:36PM

Honestly I think as long as there is at least one parent (or responsible adult) present that’s all that matters… the fact that she gets to see you when she otherwise wouldn’t in a definite plus. You are such a good dad and you play with her a lot … I think it’s good for our kids to see us work and provide for them… it’s good for them to see us set boundaries, because even though we love them more than anything… I think it’s important for them to learn at an early age that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Anyway, I know my kids like it when dads home working… it’s kind of a pain in my butt because I have to keep them away from him… but that’s for a different post:):)

Lindsay

Jan 04,2011 @ 01:38PM

PS so crazy… you we’re commenting on our blog while I was commenting on yours… how random!!

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Jan 04,2011 @ 01:53PM

Hehe, you caught me on my lunch break… trying to catch up on all my online social-ness… Blogging, commenting… now that I’m working again it’s harder to keep up with that stuff!

That’s a good point about kids seeing us working/providing and setting boundaries. And Zoe and I have conversations around those topics a lot when I’m working from home.

In the end, I think it’s good, but difficult for all of us. Most of the time, I feel like I’m neither working nor playing as much as I would like on a work at home day and carry a little bit of guilt for both.

Of course, all of that guilt washes quickly away when a three year old runs in the room and gives me a hug big enough to cut off circulation and says the magic words: “love you daddy!”

langela

Jan 13,2011 @ 06:14AM

Hey, Mike! It’s been awhile since I checked in.

On this subject, I think the kids are blessed when a working parent gets to see them even briefly during a workday. When my husband gets the chance to stop at the house for a drink on his way by during the day, the kids think it is special and talk about it all day. I think your kids will adjust to it as normal and only when they are grown see that they were blessed to get to spend more time with their daddy than other kids got to. You are also teaching them that just because they can see you doesn’t mean that all time is play time. A good lesson for life. And they get to see their daddy working hard to provide for their needs. Don’t let your guilt over it get you down. You are providing not ignoring and taking care of their needs is just as important, if not more, than playing.

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Jan 19,2011 @ 12:23PM

I totally agree. It’s just difficult sometimes…

Such as when she wants to play a game where she pretends she’s working and doesn’t have time to read me a book… ow, my heart!

langela

Jan 20,2011 @ 05:19AM

It’s amazing how young they learn to lay on the guilt! :o)

Mike Mitrovich (author)

Jan 20,2011 @ 08:10AM

Yes!

My other favorite is when I’m reading her a bedtime story and as we turn out the light, she says something to the effect of “It was nice of you to come home and have dinner with me tonight…”

langela

Jan 20,2011 @ 10:42AM

OOOhhh, good one. “So glad you could lower yourself and take time out of your busy schedule just to have supper with little ‘ol me. You’re so kind.” And it’s so much worse when what they say is sincere.



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