June 21, 2010

A Working Vacation

This trip is what you would call a working vacation. My time is divided among family and work responsibilities. In that respect it is nothing like the family trips that I remember from my youth and for that I am sorry. My children are forced to share me during a time where I should be focused on them.

My siblings and I never faced any of these things on our vacations. Mom and dad were always there. There weren't any waves or gestures for silence while dad finished talking to a client. But then again there weren't laptops, cellphones or any of the other electronic leashes technology has afflicted us with.

That is sort of a negative perspective so let me provide the positive spin on it too. The electronic leashes as I have named them also provide freedom to get away from a desk and go elsewhere. Some of the projects that I am working on require attention that I couldn't otherwise give and so I am grateful for this flexibility.

But it is sometimes hard for me not to compare myself to my parents. They are the best model I have for parenting for that is what I experienced first hand. They fought and struggled for us and I appreciate that. One area that I know is different in a positive sense is access. My kids tend to see me more than I saw my father. He left early in the morning and came home just a few short hours before dinner.

The home office lets me see the kids all the time. I sometimes drive or pick them up from school. I get to attend practices for their sporting events and do things that my dad couldn't do, so I guess it sort of balances out.

Maybe the person who is most upset by a working vacation is me. Maybe I am the one who is a bit frustrated that I have to keep switching hats. Have to think about that one. Either way I am pleased to see how much fun the children are having as that makes me very happy.

Gratitude is something that I need to express more frequently.


Amber said...

Jack, this is something that my husband and I are working toward. He won't have a home office but he will, eventually, have the opportunity to set his own schedule. Right now, he doesn't come home until well after the kids are in bed. It is hard because the bedtime routine was always his thing, but it is a sacrifice that we both must make at this time in our lives.

The JackB said...

Nothing wrong with sacrifice- the hard part is trying to foresee the future. You can't always tell whether the sacrifice will pay off without doing it. Sometimes it is hard to place our faith in hope.