Our Time With Our Kids is Short

One of the things I don't like about my job is the fact that I work 50 hours a week and have a 30 minute commute each way. This means that over the course of a week I am gone from my kids and wife for a total of 56 hours. Putting that figure against the amount of time my kids are awake (approx. 13 hrs. a day), it means that I am missing out on 62% of my kids lives every week.

Sarah at the Family Noise blog cites these sobering statistics...
The Charting Parenthood report tracked the average time a child spends with their parent each day:
- 2 hours 21 min for mothers in two-parent families
- 1 hour 46 min for fathers in two-parent families
- 1 hour 15 min for mothers in single-parent families
- less than 30 min for fathers in single-parent families
Thankfully I average more time (5 hours) per day than the averages above, but I still have to ask myself, "Do I really want to miss 62% of my kids young lives?"

I am forced to wrestle with hard questions like...
  • How can I work less?
  • Should we move closer to work?
  • Do we get to get a smaller house or an apartment so we would need less income?
  • How can I maximize the time I do spend with my kids?
I am blessed to have a wonderful wife who stays at home with our kids during the day. I can not imagine having someone else (like a day care provider) doing the majority of parenting in our kids lives, especially with them at such an impressionable and vulnerable age.

It can be hard to remember, sometimes, that in a short 20 years I will be able to watch all the TV I want, attend every poker night, read numerous books, and do whatever traveling seems fit. In even less time they will be in school all day and in activities all night, making the limited amount of time we spend together all the more precious. Later I will be able to do whatever I want to, play in whatever league my body allows me and work as much as my head can take. But for now I have to focus on the live and family that God has given me. There can be nothing more important.

Parents enjoy your kids while you can. Time goes by to fast to sacrifice any moments now with you kids. Don't be fooled into thinking you can somehow make up missed time now. Time is unrecoverable. And your kids need you every day, every step of the way.