Balancing Acts

I have been fortunate enough to have been a stay at home dad for the past 12 years. I didn’t spend every single day with my kids due to a short period where I chose to live the 9-5 lifestyle to support my family. Corporate jobs were a detour that took me off of my path. I made that choice without thinking of the long-term ramifications. Fortunately it ended before I got too deep and was sucked into the vortex of work life imbalance.

I discovered during my divorce from my ex -wife that my kids were one of my top priorities. After our final court session, I dedicated my time to rearing children and watching as many minutes of their development as I could. It is a decision that I do not regret. Ever since that point in my life, I have been able to see the month to month transition of both of my kids. It is such a rewarding experience.

Being a professional musician allows me to spend the days with them yet work as much as I want to at night. I don’t get much sleep, especially if I don’t get to take a nap during the day. I wake up at around 6:30AM Monday through Friday to get my kids from my ex. This is done after getting to bed generally after midnight since I’m so wide awake and wired from my gigs, but let me tell you, it is worth it.

I’m not sure why so many of us Americans work so many hours for creature comforts but so often neglect the things that I feel are more important in the long run – family. I have read that there is a cultures of some European countries have siestas. I sometimes wonder why we can’t adopt some of their ideas here. I like how everything shuts down at a certain point in the day during siestas. It’s fascinating.

What do you think Americans would do if we HAD to go home during the day from 2-5 during the week? What if we were forced to take off 4-6 weeks during the summer and not work? Would people spend it with their families? Would they disconnect from their phones and connect with their spouses? Would people cook more at home?

I have found a way to maximize my income as well as maximize my time with my kids. So much has been written about work-life balance. Why not call it life-work balance instead?

1 comment for “Balancing Acts

  1. Andy fish
    October 16, 2014 at 3:13 AM

    This is a great article, I am a divorced father who has joint shared custody of my son who is 8 and step daughter who is 11. It was not a situation where my ex wife agreed to willingly. I became a custodial parent, when our divorce (3 yrs of divorce court)started the mother took off with my kids a second time. The first time she was gone for about 6 weeks and I had no communication with or saw the children. The second time she took off with them for a week, but was soon ordered back to the house by the Supreme Court judge. So the court made a 50/50 access/ custodial agreement where I had to pay the mother so much money in support it left me to raise my two children and send my oldest 3rd child of different x wife to college on a bring home pay of $200 a week. Yeah I can relate to this story whole heartedly. The mother of my children did exactly the same thing countless police reports, b.s. Orders of protection, false allegations, defamating my character, even reported me to CPs saying I was abusing my son, the whole 9 yards all untrue all dismissed. This tactic is common for people when trying to manipulate custodial outcomes. I still have custody of my kids after the mothers failed attempts at making more wild accusations against me after the divorce was finalized, in family court, costing $1000’s. I have no more resources for representation, I figure it’s a matter of time before I end up in family court and loose custody simply because I can’t afford to pay a lawyer, furthermore in niagara county USA they don’t want fathers and children to be together. I assume for financial reasons. So until they take me away in shackles I will continue to raise my children like a father should, like my father raised me and hope that one day the state will stop exploiting my children financially. Oh and by the way the mother who receives all this child support the one I share custody with, just had a new baby with some guy six hours away. is there such a thing as parental irresponsibility or does that only apply to fathers? Seriously the mother (and the local magistrate)know my financial situation but for spite of me having custody they take advantage of child support laws to try to de rail me, but it’s only the children who suffer. You see u can’t be upset with the mother the real problem lies in the powers that be (decision makers) , or as I like to call them bottom feeding bullies. They drift in and out of reality to justify there poor decision making which is only intended to create large disparities in finances. So when the day comes and the courts let them (the children) have a voice, it will go like this do u wAnT to live with Disney land mom ( has all the money 3 times more than dad) where there are no expectations or accountability, or do I want to live with that guy (broke dad) who holds u accountable for ur actions, doesn’t let you do what ever u want, prioritizes education, and has high standards ( not to be confused with militantly obsessive standards) of behavior. It’s the system that allows these things to happen all in the name of what’s best for the children …… While in the mothers access time. Baffling the state allows the financial explotation to go on!

    That guy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *