Spending, refueling, and being conscious of your energy levels will make you a better husband and father.
I feel like more of a firefighter than anything else. Running around fixing problems in my business and my life until I have nothing is left in the tank. Exhaustion is the sign that I have put in a good day’s work. When I reach the point of overtiredness, I head home to my wife and kids.
Leading in any capacity can leave you depleted of energy for the things that matter most. Demands of life beckon you to keep giving and giving. Going home giving the scrapes to your family is no way to be a good father and husband. But that is exactly what I did for years of my life. When energy has been drained from our life, we end up being impatient and disengaged. With no energy left, we pick a beer and TV as our nightly routine. Playing with our kids or having a deep, meaningful conversation with our wife feels like too much.
Slowly and steadily my wife thought that I didn’t like being with them. I was tired, but everywhere I heard people saying to hustle more to get your dreams to come true. This was just leaving me burnt out and useless to the ones I loved. Soon my passion and creativity was gone, and everything in life began to feel like a burden and a grind.
If you and I are not intentional with our time, other people will determine our life. I have seen too many people lose the things that matter to them most. Busy meeting the needs of others they don’t have enough to meet the needs of their family. I believe love is shown not just through time but through energy.
These four things will give you the energy to be the man your family needs you to be.
1. Recognize your energy. Managing your energy is crucial to being in charge of your life instead of others controlling it. Preserving energy for home is a necessary step to having enough to pour into our family over the long haul. Though some days may require all of us, most days, we can reserve energy for home. Pay attention to your energy so you can manage it well.
2. Filling and emptying. If we fill ourselves up, we have more energy for the things in our lives that last. If we are doing activities that drain us, we have less energy for the things that matter. We need to be conscious if we are going through a draining period. We need to do more of the activities that bring us back to life. If you are feeling low on fuel do something that energizes you. For me some of the things that give me a boost are getting outdoors, public speaking, counseling, sports, and doing something alone with my wife. I know these energize me so I will make sure to do them all regularly. Write down what fills you and be intentional about doing it.
3. Health. The healthier we are, the greater level of stamina we have. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting proper sleep will make you feel like you have ten times more energy. When trying to change bad habits into healthy ones, ensure that you start slow and steady. Small changes over time will change your life, but rapid, drastic changes will leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Get healthy to add more energy to your life.
4. Planned getaway. You need to break up your year and have planned get a ways. My parents called them mini moons. Breaking up the year and having spots of time where I know I will get alone time with my wife is important for both of us. It reminds me to set up my life in a way that I can get away. Make sure that these are planned. If you don’t put them on the calendar and make them happen they won’t. Life is unrelenting things will pop up, more time will pass, and you will miss something that is a healthy part of marriage. Planned mini moons refuel you and connect you with your wife giving you times of rest and rejuvenation built into your life.
Spending, refueling, and being conscious of your energy levels will make you a better husband and father. The more you stop over spending your energy, the more creativity, patience, and drive you will have in all areas of life. Give your family the best of you not the rest of you.
Do you give your family your best?
Photo: Flickr/ Ed Yourdon