Get In The Game

I know men whose wife is: raising the kids, buying the clothes, choosing the vacations, managing the finances, planning the meals, monitoring their husband’s cholesterol, and she’s working out every day!

This begs the question: What on earth is he doing? He’s working a lot and making pretty good money, but is that really the extent of what he perceives his role to be? If so, then he’s a benefactor - not a husband; a donor - not a dad.

Being a man means a lot more than providing a paycheck. We need to get off the couch and get involved with our family. Society has lied to us; watching other men play sports isn’t manly. It’s passive, and real men reject passivity.

We need to take our daughters shopping, take our sons to a man’s barbershop, and buy a meal we love and cook it for the entire family. We should know the names of our kid’s teachers, friends, and pediatrician.

Sadly, there are plenty of married women who are doing the work of a single mom because their husband is zoned out on the couch. As American men, we can do better than this!

Focus On Your Strength

If you’re anything like me, you hate to be terrible at something.  I lament the fact that I’m awful at auto repair and woodworking. I would love to be good at those things, and in the past, I’ve considered taking a class on them to improve in those areas.

But even if I took the classes, I still wouldn’t be as good at them as those who are really great. So I’d probably still wind up calling a pro to do the job. And all the while, I would be stagnating on my own strengths.

So here’s what I’ve learned: Stop trying to improve at things you suck at doing. That will only waste your time and make you mediocre at lots of things.  Focus instead on becoming even more incredible at the one or two things at which you’re already really good. Like the adage – Jack of all trades, master of none – we must resist the urge to do 23 hobbies poorly.

We need to embrace the outsourcing of our weak areas and pursue mastery of our strengths. Everyone around us wins when we do this!

Dad-Guilt

Men today live under a heavy compulsion to attend every single one of their kid’s sporting events. There’s huge dad-guilt from missing your kid’s game, and we like the idea that someday they’ll say, “My dad never missed a single game.”

But let’s be honest, there’s is a time and place when it’s okay to miss one game. I’m all for attending 98% of their stuff, but if there’s a rare opportunity to attend an event that will make you a better husband and father – take it. And don’t feel guilty about it. 

Take the long-term view and sacrifice seeing one of their 250 t-ball games now to invest in yourself with that event that will truly make you a better man in the long run.

Some men hide behind their kid’s activities so that they don’t have to take care of themselves; it’s the perfect excuse.

Sometimes our best move is to leave work early to be at their game. But sometimes our best move is to attend the parenting seminar or men’s conference that will benefit everyone. 

You will not scar your kid for life. Don’t sacrifice everything on the altar of perfect attendance.