What Is More Important?

Your kid wants to go swimming, but you have to make this phone call. Your kids want to wrestle, but you have to cook dinner. Your kids want you to come tuck them in, but it’s a tie game with 42 seconds left in regulation.

We pick these things because they’re urgent. Because they’ll only take a second. But mostly, we pick them because we can get away with it.

If something seemingly more urgent or out of control were to intervene, you would push the phone call. If you were stuck in traffic, you would order delivery. If the boss calls and needs something, you would find out who won the game later. Yet, here you are, telling your kid (and their earnest request to spend time with you) that they are not as important. Here you are choosing it over your kid.

Most of whatever we’re doing can wait. Not indefinitely, of course. No one is telling you to put it off forever. But this moment right now, you won’t get back. Take it. Play. Sit with them. Talk with them. Pause the TV. Save the draft and come back to it. Let dinner get cold. Tell so-and-so you’ll have to call them back.

Your kids are more important.

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