Bill Simmons is a busy man. He may be best known as The Sports Guy from his old ESPN days, but he’s also a writer, a podcaster, a CEO, a documentary film producer, a husband and a father of two. His eldest, Zoe, is a promising soccer player on a big-time travel soccer team, so every weekend for months during soccer season they load into the car and drive for hours around southern California to various tournaments. If you know anything about Los Angeles, you know that traffic is a frustrating, nerve-wracking hell on earth.
And yet, Simmons wouldn’t trade it for anything. As he’s talked about numerous times on the Parent Corner segment of his Guess the NFL Lines podcast during the football season, the drive to and from tournaments means he’s got his now teenage daughter trapped in a confined space with him for a couple hours where he can check in with her. How’s school? Friends? Boyfriends? How are you feeling about things going on in the world?
As fathers, the one thing that is always in short supply is time. And Bill Simmons’ time is as thinly stretched as anyone’s. Which is why we learned how to double up on it. As we should too.
The jogging stroller lets you exercise… while spending time with your kid. The drive to school, or to soccer tournaments… is a chance to have that conversation you needed to have with your daughter. All the chores that need to be done around the house…they’re a way to teach your kids about responsibility. There’s a classic meme that might be taking it a bit too far which points out that turning on Spanish subtitles on the TV makes watching your favorite show an ESL lesson for your kids. We have errands to run… and a kid we have to prepare for adulthood… so the two tasks must be combined. We have a job to do…and a babysitter who fell through… it’s time to show them what work looks like.
The point is: As a dad, you always have to be looking for opportunities to make due with what you have. Time is at a premium. Resources are scarce. We can’t afford to waste any of them, nor can we selfishly afford to do anything inefficiently or indulgently.