I did something dumb recently. I had trouble falling asleep and ended up being awake until after 3 AM working on projects. From a professional and productivity standpoint, that was a fairly good decision–I got a lot of work done and since I work from home, I could just sleep in.
From a parenting perspective, it was a nightmare. First of all, I’m not a teenager anymore, and I physically just can’t handle that as well as I used to. Staying up that late would not have been unusual for me in the past–I even went for a few weeks on just a couple hours of sleep a night due to a particularly busy semester in college–but I haven’t done that in years, and definitely not since Samuel was born.
Since Sam wakes up at 7 or so most mornings, this could have been a complete disaster, resulting in a grouchy daddy being a bad parent and a bad writer for the whole day. Fortunately, Sam slept in and our day rolled along pretty well. Even so, it reminded me of my new responsibilities in life.
It’s better for me to miss an opportunity than to miss my child. It’s better for me to fall behind in current events than it is for me to ignore my child in the pursuit of my own desires. It’s better for me to push away the laptop and pull up the picture book I’ve already read 5 times today for yet another few minutes of one-on-one time with Samuel.
It’s not always easy and I certainly continue to make those mistakes, in addition to the occasional evenings and weekends when I disappear for a bit to get some necessary work done. But it’s a worthwhile endeavor, and I’m going to keep working on it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear someone stirring in his crib. I have some life to live instead of just work to do.