Think of all the things you’ve pretended to be interested in on a date. Think of all the hours you’ve spent at the office, what you’ve committed to and sacrificed to get ahead. Think of the bosses you’ve put up with at that job, the obnoxious colleagues. Think of the hours you’ve spent pouring over your finances, investing and saving and growing. Think of the time you set aside to go to the gym, think about the willpower you summon to slide into the cold plunge.
You do all these things. Not always with a smile, but you manage them. Because you know they’re important. Because on the other side of them is something you want.
And yet when your kid asks you to play Minecraft with them, you won’t…because it’s boring. You avoid getting in the pool with them because it’s too cold. You throw up your hands when it comes to figuring out how to sign up for this new sport they’re excited about. You send them to their room when they don’t do their chores, take away their privileges when they’re rude–as if you hold anyone else to that standard. I don’t have time, you say, which is true, but only because you already gave it all away.
It’s crazy! We’ll do it for other people, but we won’t do it for our people. The people we love the most. The people we want to connect with the most. The people we owe the most. For some insane reason, it’s a default that we’ll put up with, sacrifice for, overdeliver for, go along with, support those we work with, the person we’re trying to impress, the client we’re trying to win…but with our kids, we’re OK uttering those terrible words we talk about in the new book, The Daily Dad, “No, not you dear.”
This is exactly wrong!