“I have a special dad! My dad works from home! He goes to meetings but I get to spend a lot of time with him!”
I felt a little awkward as my 4-year-old was bragging about his dad to a guy who was clearly enjoying an outing with his two young sons.
“Wow, that is special!” the dad said. “I would love to be home with my kids.”
He seemed so sincere, and almost sad. I wanted to tell him he could do it - that he could be home more if he wanted to - but I know how trite and privileged that can sound, especially without any context, without knowing his story or struggles.
The thing is, I don’t believe it matters what his life has been like up until this point. We always have the power to think and feel and act differently, no matter our circumstances. And thinking, feeling, and acting differently is what creates different results in our lives.
Had I said any of this to him, he might have said something like, “I’m a [nurse, electrician, teacher, mail carrier, store manager, etc.] - I can’t do that from home.”
And maybe he’d be right. But what if he wasn’t?
We set up so many false dichotomies in our lives. “Oh I can’t do x because y.”
Really? I question them all.
When someone says they can’t do something they “want” to do, one of my favorite questions (besides why) is, “How can you?”
How can you support your family financially or have your dream job AND spend more time with your kids? Or how can you do all three? There is always a way. It just depends on what you’re willing to sacrifice.
This all points to getting really clear on what you care about. What matters most to you? Is it more important to you to spend more time with your kids or to continue working in your same job with the same hours in the same location? There’s no wrong answer, but it’s an important question.
There’s more than one way to be a nurse, an electrician, a teacher. There’s more than one way to use the skills you’ve developed as a store manager or a mail carrier. If something else is more important to you, then it’s worth a good brainstorm and google search to open your mind to what those possibilities might be.
If all that sounds exciting but overwhelming, schedule a phone consult with me and let’s figure out how you can get what you really want.