Fatherhood, above all else, is a balancing act. Upon first becoming a father, despite the uncertainty of being a father, everything seems simple, everything seems to flow smoothly and function properly. But perhaps that is because at first, my wife was home, taking care of our son and doing what she could do around the house. There wasn't much to balance outside of the normal daily activities. I went to work, came home, saw our son, did chores around the house and went to bed. All that changes, however, and I can see how it will change even more in the future, when both parents are working to support the household. Suddenly there is the added daycare, staying at home with our son, dealing with an influx of work, on top of all the chores at home, unfinished projects, and the necessity of spending time with my wife. It seems that everything gets allotted a certain amount of time during the day and yet even with that allotment, things fluctuate and certain tasks get less time than others, some get more, and every day doesn't seem to have enough hours in it. Yes, I know, wait till our son gets older, gets to school, gets involved in other activities. I know things will get crazier, but it seems right now that this is the time when craziness is at its max. Still largely immobile, despite rolling across the floor, our son needs attention, needs to be carried everywhere, and he is on a fairly strict schedule of his own design when it comes to eating and sleeping. Don't get me wrong, I love every second of it, however there are times when I just wish he could walk so I could have him follow me outside. Or even have him get to the point where he is able to entertain himself a little bit more.
Do I want him to grow up quicker? To be honest, a small part of me does, but only a small part. I still cherish every moment I have with him and for the most part desire only for him to develop at his own pace. I wouldn't trade in the times I have with him now for any other time, yet there is still a small part of me that wishes he were a little more self reliant. For now, it shall remain a balancing act (not that it will ever change drastically, just the elements that need balancing change), one in which I struggle to find the perfect mix where everything I need to tackle in a day gets the appropriate amount of time devoted to it. But there in lies the issue; how does one determine what the appropriate time is to devote to any one activity or task? There isn't an appropriate time for anything it seems and that's what makes fatherhood a true balancing act. My number one priorities are my wife and son and as such I try to ensure that they get as much of my attention and time as possible. When I come home in the evenings from work and my son is still awake, he gets my full attention as he goes to bed between 6 and 630. Even if there are pressing phone calls that need to be made or business stuff that needs attending to, he trumps everything. Unfortunately he can't trump the fact that I actually need to go to work in order to make money, but that is just another part of the balancing act. By the end of the day, when I am exhausted and tired, there are times I just can't muster up the energy to get things done for my business. Some days are better than others obviously, but there are many days when I just collapse after dinner, desiring only to relax with my wife, and then go to sleep.
There is nothing I would trade for fatherhood, I just sometimes wish the balancing act were a little bit easier. Yet I know that taking it one day at a time is the best way to muddle through it, for that is what I do most of the time. I may look like I have it together some of the time, but in reality, if you looked at my life as a big picture, you would see a man fumbling through. Perhaps it by taking life one step at a time that I can appear to have it together, perhaps that is what maintains my sanity. Personally, I don't really care if I look like I have it all together, all figured out; I just do what I do regardless. There are times when I dare to look at the big picture, look at everything I need to get done, all the areas I need to devote my time to, and get a little freaked out. I find I can't look at the big picture too often or it becomes detrimental to my well being. For a long time now, I have lived by a few sayings. The first one, my favorite is "Carpe Diem" or seize the day. I try and take every day and live it to its fullest, giving my time where I can and not fretting about areas that don't get enough of it. The second saying is "Everything works out for the best". I know this isn't necessarily a popular saying, but I live by it, letting go of frustrations and just trusting that everything will turn out the way it should in the end. I find if I worry too much about how things are going, how things are progressing, or what the future may hold because of my actions in the present, I get caught in the whirlwind and can't find it within myself to live in the moment. So my balancing act is just that; a tenuous walk on the tightrope of life, perpetually getting buffeted by the winds of change, the tugs and weights of everything around me, and the only visible way to move forward is one step at a time. We shall see where this tightrope takes me.