Each evening at work a Text pops up on my cellphone at about the same time. Generally it’s just the one word question, “home?”… a sweet, gentle reminder from my wonderful wife that in the midst of whatever the latest work “emergency” I’m currently enmeshed there is someplace else I need and want to be.
It’s easy for to get caught up in the apparently pressing priorities of work and lose track of time; and while I try my best to watch the clock on my own, I never mind the text message ping and “home?” message on my phone. In fact I need help focusing on what’s most important to me. So I decided to add two more things to help me remember to get home on time…
The first thing I’m doing is adding a standing reminder to my Microsoft Outlook calendar at work that will pop up at the same time each evening. Basically I’m setting a recurring appointment on my calendar for every evening. It’s super easy to set up, and will relieve my sweet wife of the need to send reminders.
The other thing I’ve done is add something like the following wallpaper calendar to my computer as wallpaper. Then every time I look at it, it reminds me there’s a wee one waiting at home for me.
It may seem silly that anyone would need to to remind himself it’s time to go home, especially if that someone had two such wonderful girls (my wife and baby girl) waiting at home? BUT if it gets me home just a few minutes earlier… over the years those minutes will add up to days or even weeks of extra time with them.
How about you… if you work outside the home do you do anything special to help you remember your real priorities while working, and do you do anything to remind you to get home to the ones you love at a decent time at the end of each work day? This loving but ever so slightly ADD daddy can use all the help he can get.
Hmm,, I wonder if it would remind me to a) eat lunch and b) go to the bathroom regularly, cause many days I don’t get to do those regularly! hahaha. jk!
I don’t think it’s that uncommon, D. 🙂 That happens to me, too. And way to often. I’ll suddenly realize at 2:30 pm that I’m starving and also about to burst. LOL. I suppose the computer calendar trick (or maybe an alarm on your phone’s calendar) would work for all of these things? You could also consider wallpaper with a waterfall on it?
You are not alone in this my friend. When I worked in big “D” I often got so mentally caught up in what I was doing that time seemed to slip away. Of course, I did not have anything amazing waiting on me, but I totally agree that this is a fabulous thing for you to be conscious of. Being home on time (or there bouts) is so important, especially for your girls! Later you will be so happy that you did. As you stated, these few extra moments add up over time. Hope these reminders work for you.
Mitzi wrote: I totally agree that this is a fabulous thing for you to be conscious of. Being home on time (or there bouts) is so important, especially for your girls! Later you will be so happy that you did. As you stated, these few extra moments add up over time. Hope these reminders work for you.
You said it well. I realize how very fast our little girl is growing up. It’d be a shame to miss more time with her than necessary. Sure the work I do provides for my family, but I’m pretty sure my wee girl would gladly trade in one less toy or dress for a bit more quality time with daddy. I must work even harder on this.
I have a standing reminder on my phone to pick up kids from school. I’m always worried I’ll get caught up in something and leave them sitting there!
Hi, Julie. Hope you, the hubby and four wee ones had a great weekend. The phone reminder is a great idea. It’s something you have with you all the time, and with everything you do I can imagine it must be hard not to get distracted and caught up in stuff. Have a wonderful week!
That is so sweet that Shan sends you a little reminder! and I love that screensaver. I bet if you put up a little picture of Molly and Shan on there as an extra reminder, you’d be racing out at 5! I do the best i can to leave on time at 5 but you know crap happens:)
Great idea, Nicole. My wallpaper is almost always of our baby girl in the cute photo du jour. And yes, Shannon is so wonderful to very gently prod me to notice the time when I should be heading home. I’m a super lucky guy. Hope you all had a great weekend. Hang in there this week. Working in New York City, let alone in the Mayor’s Office, has gotta be pretty busy.
I loved this entry, thanks so much for the smashing magazine link- Wonderful!
Hey, Kelley. Thanks for dropping by from twitter. Do you have a facebook page? Here’s my facebook page. Let me know if you have one and I’ll follow you. I’m on there more than twitter, really. Oh, and I doubt I could afford your sister, but the two of you both do great work in your respective fields. She’s in Vegas? Have a great week!
I do the same thing. I have a reoccurring appointment that pops up every day 30 minutes prior to the end of my work day. That way if I am in the middle of something I know I have only 30 minutes to wrap it up and get out of there. It also reminds me not to start any “big” projects that close to leaving. I snooze the reminder so that it then gives me a 5 minute warning to leave. It’s amazing how without that reminder you can get distracted with something and the time get away. I never want that to happen so I love, love, LOVE when my reminders pop up. It’s an excitement for me that I will be seeing my boys soon.
The thirty minute reminder sounds like a really smart option. Having it come up early, as you say, would allow you to start winding down and not begins something new that’s too big. I think I’ll give that a try. Thanks!
^^^This is a sweet blog 🙂
Thank you, Ann. I’m glad you liked it. It’s not just a blog, it’s what I’m really doing. If you could see my computer, you’d see I have that wallpaper on it right now. LOL. Hope you guys are keeping grand. The weather is somewhta Irish like right now. You’d feel right at home. It’s been raining all night long here in Texas, and is still continuing. I had to walk the dog out into the rain to get him to go out and pee. Not a fan of rain is he.
Your Daddy Blog Is To Be Admired By All Parents, Michael…. You Are Truly An Amazing Dad!!! I am Honored To Call You – My Friend.
Fern ~ (Mommy Of Five Lovely Grown Daughters).
If I am, it’s because I’ve got a great wife helping me learn to be a good dad. I only had the one brother growing up, no sisters, so having a little girl in the house is a new experience for me. At least my wife was once a little girl and so understands what they need. You, of course, with five grown girls are the expert. Feel free to weigh in with advice for this new daddy any time. Thanks, Fern, for the kind words.
What a neat idea!! When I was working there were days I would forget the time but most of the time I was ready to go and made sure I had stuff done by then so I could be out the door on time! lol My husband is like you are though, gets caught up, which is a good thing sometimes. Means you are a great worker!
Thanks, Nicole. Yes, but being a good worker (which we guys tend to prize as important) since that plays into our perceived role as provider, sometimes clouds our vision of those things that are more important. Looking back on my childhood, I would have much rather had my dad home at a decent time at night and spend time with me… than the things the money he earned provided. Families need enough money to be safe and comfortable, but after that kids need their parent’s love and attention more I think. But it’s easy to get caught up in other stuff and forget ones priorities. Thanks for stopping back by. Have a great evening.
I do agree on that. My dad worked evenings or 12a-8a and when he was home he was cranky or sleeping. I did miss having a dad to do things with. It was kind of like we didn’t have one most times.
That can be hard on a kid, to whom everything feels personal. Parents, especially dads I think, sometimes mistake the importance of providing for their families with the expression of love. That is to say they think all that hard work shows how much they love their families (and justifiably perhaps it does), but that’s not the way it feels to the family with whom they are not spending enough quality time. I guess “balance” is the key, eh?
Where would we be without gentle reminders from our wives? I hate to think!
No kidding. Right, Justin?! 🙂
This isn’t solely a difficulty for parents who work outside the home. Many is the time when i pick up the kids from school, and sit my butt back down in front of the computer to keep working, only to look up when one of them is screaming at me that they need help with math….
I’m exaggerating, obviously, but working from home makes blurring those work/home lives easier, unfortunately.
I use my schedule as well, Michael, and only allow myself one extra hour in the afternoon before dinner to work. Otherwise, I can only continue working after the boys have gone to bed. Now that I’m officially antique (as labeled by my kids while watching Antiques Roadshow) lack of sleep is a vicious downward cycle, so I can’t do that many days in a row!
I don’t think you have ADD, you simply have amazing focus and dedication!
Thanks for another thought provoking post!
I know exactly what you mean. I wrote a post a while back, Never Pass Up a Chance to Dance with Cinderella, that’s somewhat on this theme. I find myself in front of the laptop too often when I should be “dancing with Cinderella!” Thanks for the kind words, Mary Kathryn. You’ve always been so very supportive. It helps. Have a wonderful New Year!