The Wider Angle with Jeff James

I’ve often chided my husband for his lack of multi-tasking skills.  This meaning, I can barely have a conversation with him while he’s doing something else – anything else (but especially driving).  Acceptance is a huge part of marriage, and I’m learning to accept his weaknesses as well as my own, of which I assure you there are many.  I am so, so, so lucky that Jeff works from home and I feel that our children benefit from seeing our relationship and our teamwork on a daily basis.  I don’t blame him for wanting to escape.  Don’t we all want that sometimes?

Balancing Act

I have a very short commute to/from work.  In fact, if I take big steps I can probably make it out of my office (in the basement) and upstairs to Jake’s room in about 15 seconds!  With this ‘huge benefit’ comes complications (notice I avoided the word ‘responsibility’).

When I’m not travelling, I’m in the house and constantly balancing work with family responsibilities.  I might eat lunch upstairs and get a few minutes with Kylie and Jake before they go down for naps/quiet time (perk!)…. I may notice a few toys on the floor and put them in their rightful place, or wipe off the counters, or empty the dishwasher (distraction).  Then back downstairs for more mental gymnastics, phone calls, demos and the never ending job of scheduling meetings as a ‘remote’ employee.  Rather than calling home at 5.30 to explain a sudden emergency at work – I can hear the dull roar upstairs that indicates meal time is coming.  This produces a force and anxiety slightly greater than gravity – so I often leave my semi-urgent work only to return to it 3 hours later after dinner and bedtime.

I go weeks thinking I would have it no other way, but a few days creep in that make me wish I could escape my ‘hybrid’ work environment and focus completely on my ‘corporate’ goals.  Not the least of which is to provide money, food and resources for my family.  This, however, would put more responsibility on my wife to handle the tiring meal time and bed time for two young children (that which she does often, while I’m traveling for work) – thus creating more imbalance in our child-rearing duties.

In summary, men are ill-equipped (lacking the genetic capability) to handle the many roles given to us: fun Dad, disciplinarnian, empathetic husband, romantic husband, good listener, corporate leader, middle manager, family accountant, etc., etc.  So for us, mixing kids, marriage and career into the same twelve hour day is nearly impossible.  Thank goodness my wife sets the pace and shows me the way! :)

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by Crystal

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