Work vs. Kids vs. Guilt
Do you want your kids to come over for awhile
and play, so you can get some work done?
Sure, I said to my sister-in-law,
without a moments hesitation.
And as soon as I said it, the battle began
again: Work vs. kids vs. guilt. Here was an
opportunity to spend some extra time with my kids,
and I was turning it down to spend time at work.
Work that eventually needed to be done, but could
have been done later.
The guilt that grips us in these moments is
uncomfortable, and it challenges the image we have
of ourselves as a good parent. Choosing to be away
from our kids is evidence of an unpleasant fact for
all parents: Sometimes we just dont like
being with our kids.
Sometimes we just dont like being around
fighting, arguing, whining, and resistance to what
we ask for. We dont like picking up after
them, sacrificing so much of our own lives for
them, and feeling like a servant. And if were
not careful, this resentment of all we do can turn
into the kind of negative energy that creates a
cycle of bad feelings in a family. Blame, guilt,
and anger all rear their ugly heads, while we look
for the next culprit to blame.
All parents will go through periods when they
see others in their family as problems. Well
see ourselves as hard-working, wonderful, and
blameless, and see others as the root
of the family problems. And while we feel justified
in these beliefs, we do ourselves and our families
a great disservice by holding onto them. By holding
onto these beliefs, we create more of the very
behavior we say we dislike in othersthe
behavior we blamed them for in the beginning.
Gandhi once said, You must be the change
you want to see in the world.
You must also be the change you want to see in
I spent some time thinking about what it must be
like to be a child again, and what it must be like
to listen to the commands of parents over and over
again. I thought about how their brains are
different than ours, and how theyre more
likely to forget things, not listen, and have wild
emotional swings with little warning.
These thoughts helped soften my feelings of
blame and victimization, and they helped me to see
my kids as more than the little
problems I was seeing them as.
So the next time you find yourself blaming your
family members for being the problem,
and you find yourself not wanting to be with your
kids, know that its something that will
happen to the best of parents.
But dont make the mistake of staying there
too long. For if you do, youll create the
kind of energy that sends families down a long and
difficult road. And the happiness, joy, and love
that exists in all of us will never have a chance
to be expressed.
In the end, isnt that everyones job
© 2007 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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