All day at work you experience stress. You witness other people’s stupidity. You are the victim of their moods and emotions. Your phone pings constantly with alarming news of the world, the pangs and envies that drive social media.
What are you to do? Much in the way that politics are supposed to stop at the water’s edge, so must the stresses of the world stop at the stoop of your front door. You can’t bring that crap home with you. You definitely can’t have it running on CNN in the background while you eat dinner as a family.
The house should be a safe place, and the father a protector of it. Not a protector in the sense of a warrior, but closer to the role of a bouncer: No, sorry. You’re not on the guest list. You have to be Teflon. Your boss’s temper can’t be allowed to stick to you. The contagion of panic or divisiveness shouldn’t be tracked into the living room on the bottom of your shoes. You must keep a clean house. You must turn these things away.
When you arrive home, you should be like Ulysses S. Grant, be ready to wrestle. Ready to be present. Ready to have fun. Ready to be the dad they want… not the dad that’s left over after the ravages of the day.