Sunday, August 21, 2016

Balance Smalance

I like writing.  It gets your ideas and thoughts on paper, or computer screen in this case.  For those of you new to my blog, you might notice that the title of the blog itself is called "Diary of a Gold Medal Dad."  That comes from a series of blogs I did a few years ago for the Fatherhood Initiative.  If you would like to know more about it, check out my history pages.

Let's talk about today's post, "Balance Smalance."  My reason for that title is because I am beginning to think there is no such thing.  I don't say that in a bad or defeated way.  I am just saying we really never feel like we are balanced.  We might feel that we have balance for a few seconds, but then our brain reminds us of that next task or job.  Just sitting here and writing makes me think back to when I thought I had balance, but in retrospect really didn't.

When I was working at Red Foods/Bi-Lo in Lewisburg, Tennessee, I was trying to balance work, high school, family, and relationships.  It was hard.  I would leave school around 1:30 or 2:00 each day and go to work.  After work, I would go out with my friends or my girlfriend, and then I would go home.  I also had baseball and family commitments.

A few years later, I got my first house and had my first "real" job.  I call it a real job because it was one I couldn't just quit.  Heck, when I was a teenager, I was working at Bi-Lo and wanted to give working at Shoney's a try.  I quit Bi-Lo on a Friday, went to training at Shoney's on a Saturday and didn't like it, and then returned to work at Bi-Lo on Monday.  My manager told me he knew I would be back.

I got married and was working a lot of hours a week in retail management.  I tried to balance my marriage and work, but it was hard.  My wife and I were basically ships passing in the night and made time when we could.  We would go on impromptu dates when I would get off late in the afternoon.  It was difficult at times, but it was OK.

A little over a year later, we had our first of three kids.  My scales of life shifted dramatically, and I changed careers to my current one in teaching.  Currently, I am obtaining my Master's in supervision.

Writing is cathartic.  I say all of this to say trying to achieve balance is a chase that will never end.  At least in my almost 39-year-old brain.  I look back at all the above times in my life and I don't every remember feeling like I had all of the plates spinning at the same time.  I do however remember feeling happy and content, and I guess that's the main thing I am trying to tell myself at this point in my life.  Oh, you thought this blog post was for you.  Sorry to disappoint, this was for me to have a conversation with myself.  I'm just letting you see the mind that is Maury.

I will share this nugget of wisdom.  Do you know what HAS always been the constant in my life that has never shifted balance?  It's Jesus.  He loves me.  He is always there for me.  When I am happy, He rejoices with me.  When I am sad, He cries with me.  There is no balance when it comes to Jesus.  He always is there and that is what makes me content.  I know that no matter what this world throws my way, I can handle it because Jesus will help me keep the plates spinning.  However, sometimes He lets me know that if the plates stop spinning, that's OK too.  He is proud of the show no matter what.

Until next time...

Trust me, there will be a next time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


As I sit in front of my computer, my new baby daughter Chloe is crying in the background awaiting her evening meal.  My son is busily trying to get us ready to watch a movie that he has proudly chosen.  Needless to say, my life has been different since last Tuesday.  That was the day my daughter entered the world.

I don't want to say having a second child is not as hard as the first time, but it is definitely easier.  The big change this time was having to wrap my head around the fact that I have a daughter.  I am already super protective of her.  I am protective of my son, but I am already worrying about "that guy" Chloe brings home that will not measure up to my standard for her.

I am teaching my son how to act in society.  Some of you might think, "A bit young to start teaching that as a four-year-old, isn't it?"  My answer to that is a resounding no.  The more he learns and the faster he learns it, the better off he will be.  One of my favorite Bible verses is in Proverbs where it says, "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it."  Kids are going to make some, to put it bluntly, bonehead decisions in their lives as they grow up.  My job as a Daddy to a boy is train him what it means to grow up and become a real man, friend, boyfriend, husband, and dad.  I am OK with this job.  I love this job in my life.  It is a lot of pressure, but it has been rather easy so far.  However, my job description just changed as far as fatherhood goes.

With the birth of Chloe, my daughter, I become not only a guide but a protector.  My wife will teach her a lot about what it means to be a woman in the world.  However, my role is to show her what she needs to look for in her relationships with the male species.  Granted, taking a cue from Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame and taking her first boyfriend hunting for snakes and loaded guns is not such a bad idea either, but I digress.

I know I don't get the award for Blogger of the Year because I don't blog that much.  I blog about what's on my mind at the present time or if the Fatherhood Initiative is encouraging fathers to do something and I want to share my experiences.  However, I am trying my hardest to get Father of the Year and that is why I don't blog that much on a regular basis.

Ironically, we are watching Taken 2 tonight.  It is a sequel to Taken, obviously.  When I first watched Liam Neeson travel half-way around the world to find his kidnapped daughter, I thought that was a little far-fetched.  Now that Chloe is here, I would do it.  It's like Liam Neeson's character says to the bad guys on the phone, "I will find you, and I will hurt you." Well, it didn't exactly say that, but I'm trying to keep it PG here.

In closing, I challenge those of you reading this to take an active roles in your children's lives.  I now have a son and daughter and while my role is similar in both of their lives, it is different as well.  We as fathers have to teach our sons how men are to act and behave.  We as fathers are to teach our daughters not to settle for anyone or anything.  Both sons and daughters need to know that they can ask Daddy for anything and we will go around the world and back to help them.

As always, be the Fathers God wants us to be and the Daddys our children (sons and daughters) need us to be.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Game over, I think not...

The reason why I have been so long in writing is the very subject I am writing about today.

It has been said, "Kids say the darndest things."  Teaching sixth graders has taught me that that saying is very much true.  Today, out of the blue a kid at the front of the class raised his hand in the middle of my lecture.  I of course called on him because I knew he was going to ask me to expound on some brilliant thing had I said or help guide him to the promised land of education bliss...I was wrong.

"Mr. Wood," the student said.  "Yes," I unwittingly replied.  "I bet I know what you said when you got married," he strangely asked.  "What's that?" I said.  "Game over," he said with a smile.

I then went into an almost frustration laced rant about how marriage is not like that.  At least it's not supposed to be like that.  Mine isn't.  To stick with the gaming analogy, I got a "one up" when I married Karen.  I can honestly say that my life is better for Karen.  Let's go back in time, and you don't even have to get up to 88 miles an hour.

Before Karen and I had started dating, I had grown tired of the dating game.  I mean, from a guy's point of view, it is a lot of money, effort and time.  So, I did what so many guys should have done, I swore off dating.  I didn't go on any dates for about a year and then a friend of mine set up a group date or outing, whatever you want to call it.  I didn't want to go, told him I didn't want to go, but the plan went on and I was there...with a stipulation I had made with myself.

Usually, we put our best foot forward on dates when we meet someone for the first time, don't we?  We hide that person that has our true personality.  The person that has that "different" sense of humor doesn't come along on the date.  So, our date doesn't get the real us.  He or she doesn't get who we truly are.  This time, let's just say the real me asked to go and I said, "OK."

After a pretty good night, I found myself walking Karen back to her car since it was dark and before I knew it, I was asking if it was OK to call her.  That was twelve years ago this month and I have been happy and content ever since.

Now, in response to my student, I would like to tell you some pretty cool things I get from playing the "wedding game."

1.  I get a "Ms. Pac-Man" or a best friend.  Yes, I know some of you are typing your emails right now because you want me to turn in my man-card.  However, I can honestly say that God did a good thing by blessing me with Karen.  No one, and I mean no one gets my sense of humor like Karen does.  I can cut up with her and have a blast doing it.  I don't know how many times I have started a sentence with, "I can tell you this because you're my wife."  If I had a nickel for every "That's what she said" joke we have told to each other, I would be rich.  I have some friends that are guys, but there is no one on this planet that I would rather spend time with than Karen.  Honestly, no lie.  I am serious.  No, she's not reading this while I type.  I promise.  She WILL read it after I post it, I will make sure of it. :)

2.  I get infinite lives.  I am pretty sure that without Karen's knowledge and guidance on some things, my life would be shorter.  At the least, it would not be as fun.  Karen works in the financial industry and I joke a lot that in the corporation that is our family, Karen is CFO and I am CEO.  I can make decisions without her (with her permission of course) but when it comes to our family's finances, the buck stops with her.  She is a guru with our money.  Happy wife, longer life.  Why would I try to do something that she is ultimately better at?

3.  I get power-ups.  I lived by myself for a few years before Karen and me got married.  How can I describe my old house to you?  Let's just say that if someone wanted to give me something for my house, I took it.  I had a green couch that didn't match anything.  I had a cream colored couch that had some kind of flower print all over it.  I also had a suede sectional that was missing legs on one of the pieces.  My house was so mismatched that people thought I did it on purpose.
Our house looks good now.  That whole thing about your house having a "woman's touch," there's something to that.  She has our house looking good and we have a lot of cool stuff.  It is nice for people to come in and say they like the house.  The main thing is when the Playstation 4 comes out, I am pretty sure I can get it because two incomes are a lot better than one.  Priorities people...

4.  I live with a marriage strategy guide.  Growing up, it bugged me that my Daddy would not clean out the sink after he would shave sometimes.  I don't know why, it just did.  So, every time I shave, I make sure to clean it out.  After Karen and I were married for a while, she told me that one of the reasons why she loved me was that I clean out the sink after I shave.  Score!!

Your best tool at a happy marriage is your co-op player.  Have you ever tried to play a two-player game and not talk to each other?  Have you ever played two-player on any of those Lego video games and the other person won't stay with you?  Either way, it stinks and it makes things harder.

Can I vent to you?  I love Karen, but she can't play two-player on Lego Batman or Lego Star Wars without wandering all over the place.  I mean, I am getting killed by every storm trooper alive and she is just running in circles.  Joker is shooting at me and Robin is over in the corner trying to jump on some ladder.  I digress...

5.  I get secret levels.  Do you remember when you found the warp zones on Super Mario and could beat the game in like ten minutes or less?  After we got married, I was able to experience so much more than I would have by myself.  Namely, fatherhood.  My son Brighton is like finding those warp zones over and over again like they were brand new.  Which brings us to why my writing has been so late.

Karen is expecting our second child (that is as scary as it sounds) in March and next month we find out what we're having.  In the Bible when it talks about in Genesis how bad pregnancy is going to be, it's not exaggerating.  She has been sick, real sick.  People have asked me if she has morning sickness.  I tell them yes.  There is a song called, "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere."  Her morning sickness song would be, "It's 7 a.m. Somewhere" because she is sick all the time.  So, I have been helping take up the slack around the house so she can rest when she gets home.  It's hard, but you don't get better at anything by doing nothing.  Blogging has taken a backseat for the time being.

So, to those of you who think marriage is "Game Over," you're wrong.  Instead of "Game Over," you should be saying, "Game On!"  Fatherhood should be the same way.  Becoming a Daddy doesn't make life harder, it makes it more fun.  Remember, even Pac-Man had Pac-Baby.  Remember he would drink the power pellets out of the bottle and be able to eat the ghosts too?  Man, I miss Saturday morning cartoons.

Be the Father God wants you to be and the Daddy your kids need you to be.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Not his first word, but his first bad one...

As hard as it is for some to believe, I don't curse.  I know some of you, think big deal.  However, when I give my students the "no cursing" speech and tell them I don't, they start asking questions.  The main question is, "Why don't you?"  I will tell you the same story I tell them every year.

When I was little, I was sitting at the kitchen table playing with my cars and there was a traffic accident.  As the two imaginary drivers were discussing what happened and my Mama was washing dishes nearby...let's just say the argument got heated and someone called someone a son of  a something.  My Mama turned around fairly quickly and asked me, "What did you just say?"

This was the moment of truth, I could have said nothing.  That was not the case and I repeated those four words.  I got fussed at and Mama marched me to the bathroom to "wash my mouth out."  I had heard people say that many, many times but thought it was only a figure of speech.  I soon learned that there was nothing fake about it.

Mama grabbed a bar of Dial soap and told me to open my mouth.  She put that bar in my mouth made me bite down and then gave my tongue a good scrubbing.  To this day, I can remember exactly what Dial soap tastes like.  Needless to say, it worked and cursing has never been a temptation for me.

Today, my son was walking out of the kitchen when he said a curse word.  He has repeated one before that we couldn't get off the television quick enough.  This was his first one that he used in the right way, I guess.

I then asked him that famous question my Mama asked me so many years ago, "What did you say?"  My son actually did a better job than I did and said, "I don't know, Daddy."  I asked him again and then asked where he heard that word.  His reply, "Out of my mouth."  I said, "No, son, who have you heard say that word?"  His reply, "I did."  We never solved the mystery, but he got a good talk about words we say and words we don't.

Being a good Daddy to me means setting a good example.  The one question my wife and I could answer was that he didn't hear that word in this house from his Mama or Daddy.  We know he is getting to the age where his answers might be, "Well, you do it."

I am a teacher, but most of what we learn as children come from our parents' examples.  That can mean what to do AND what not to do.  I hope my son grows up thinking, "I hope I am like Daddy when I get bigger" and not the other way around.  So many of the children I deal with at school want nothing to do with their fathers.  Just the other day I asked my class what would I be if I didn't spend time with my son and a student gave me her father's name.  Sad, sad, sad.

In our roles as Daddy, we have many jobs and there will be times where we are on the other side of our children's actions.  We have to be that voice of reason and correction that helps him or her grow up into something that the world can be proud of, gosh darn it.  :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

What is a good Daddy? From the experts...

In today's blog, I am taking a break.  Granted, I will be the one typing, but my words will not be the ones you read today.  As I was thinking about what to put in this week's blog, it hit me.  Why not ask those who our roles as Dads affect the most?

To give you some background, I teach three classes of seventy sixth graders Reading and English for an hour and twenty minutes a day.  I love teaching the older kids while some in my profession enjoy the little ones more.

I asked my kids at school to write me two sentences on what they think makes a great Dad and I told them I would publish their thoughts on my blog.  Two things stuck out at me about "my kids."  One, thirty-five of the seventy kids I teach have dealt with divorce or some form of it.  The second thing was a question one of them asked me when I told them what I wanted them to do today.  A student in the class raised his/her hand and asked, "How are we suppose to write about something we know nothing about?"

So here you go with Mr. Wood's kids' requirements of Dads.  Be warned, you might want to get a tissue.  Heck, you might want to get more than a few tissues.


Well, I think a dad is suppose to work and not be lazy...and sometimes cook for us.  If my Dad and Mom are divorced, my Dad should pay my child support and buy me clothes like my Mom does.

I think a good Dad should do his best to love you.  A good Dad should also make sure you have a good life.

A good Dad should go to your soccer games, buy you things you need, take you places, and do things for you.  A good Dad would leave work to come get you from school if you're sick or if you overslept, he could come get you and take you to school.

A good Dad should be nice.  A good Dad should buy you things to play with.

A good Dad should put food on the table.  He should also give you what you need.

A good Dad should take care of their child.  A good Dad should buy their children stuff.

They should love their kids.  They should also be there for them.

A good Dad should be there for his son.  He also helps them.

A good Dad doesn't leave his family.  A good Dad stays out of jail.

A good Dad always helps you and always has your back.  A good Dad helps you do homework if you need help.

A good Dad is a person who is truthful.  A good Dad is someone who is not a bully.

A good Dad should do stuff with his kid.  For example, my Dad hunts with me, shoots with me, helps me, and takes me places.  He should also love his kids.

A good Dad will be there for you all the time and come to cheer leading.  He loves me all the time.  He helps me with homework and helps buy the food.

A good Dad doesn't be mean to Mom.

I think a good Dad shouldn't leave.  If he does, he should leave a picture and his name.  If you leave, please come visit your daughter and don't forget to bring her some gifts, money, and take her shopping and love her.

A good Dad should always have some time to spend with his kids.  You know, teach them hot to do things.  Never leave his kids alone all the time, and if you have a baby, don't make him spoiled.  Remember, children are good because you have someone to have fun with.

A good Dad should work hard and pay the bills.  They should also have fun with their kids and not say, "I'm tired."

A good Dad should be nice to their kids and show good sportsmanship.

A good Dad should be kind, sweet, gentle, take their child to a lot of places, get him a few things every now and then.  He should just be kind to his child.  If you child is being bad, discipline him, but not too horrible.

A good Dad should put food on the table and pay child support on time.  He should also spend time with you.  He should also buy us food to eat.

A great Dad is someone you can have the best time with and he takes you places you really want to go.  A good Dad is someone who you can tell anything to.  He will put your life before his.

A good Dad will take you out for ice cream every Saturday.  A good Dad tells his kids he did a good job at something, even though he didn't.

A good Dad should do fun things with their child.  He should also take his kids to do stuff.

A good Dad should spend time with me and play with me.  He should come to my ballgames.  He should also play with me and not just my little brother.

A good Dad will be there when your children need you.  He keeps his promises and less work hours.  He is a good listener and gives advice on your problems.  He should try to relate to what you have to say.  He needs to occasionally have a family dinner.  A good Dad should have a great bond with his son, he should be able to have a conversation about anything.

A good Dad should play with you a lot and take care of you all the time.

A good Dad likes to hang out with me, play basketball with me, go mudding with me, and cut grass with me.

A good Dad should have fun with you.  If he needs help, help your Dad.

A good Dad should never tell your child bad things.  He should always be with his kids and try to make them happy.

A good Dad comes outside with us to play tennis and volleyball.  He also tries to us in a good mood.  He knows I love music and so he will turn on the music.  My even tries to play video games.  He is an awesome Dad.

A father should be someone who their children can look up to and be able to trust.  They should play with their children daily.  He should help a kid to learn to ride a bike.  My father helped me when I fell off my bike  and watched out for cars.  My dad bought a kiddie pool when I was four and he filled up it every week and would clean it out weekly.

A good Dad should talk to their kids about problems and encourage their children to be brave and happy.  I also think they should spend time with their kids.

A good Dad should defend you from the people who make you feel bad, even if it's your Mom.  He loves you even when you mess up so bad you're scared to say anything.  He tells you what you want to hear or finds a good way to tell you bad news.  He helps you understand.

A good Dad should spend time with your kids.  I care about my Dad but when I go visit him, he only pays attention to the other kids.  At least pay attention to me a little.

A good Dad goes to all my games, gives you attention, and plays with you.

A good Dad should always be with their kids and love them.

A good Dad spends more time with his son and be there for your son when he needs you.

A good Dad never lies to your kids, even when it's bad.  He also helps his kids when they are in a sticky situation.

A good Dad spends time with his kids, makes sure that there is food on the table, and acts silly and tries to fit in.  My Dad treats my siblings and I the same; he loves us very much.  My Dad takes care of us and plays the Mother and Father part.

A good Dad should be able to try to give what their children like or want.  A good Dad should be able to pay child support or stay with them.

A good Dad helps his children get along with each other.  He should try to make his child better.

A good Dad should go to their son's ballgames.  He should discipline his children if they do something bad.  Most important, he should spend time with his children.

A good Dad will spend time with his children and do stuff they like to do.

A good Dad should never leave his children.  I also think a good Dad should always love his children.  They should also find out what their children like and try it with them.

A good Dad should love his family and care about them.  He should play with his kids.

A good Dad is nice to his kids, motivates his kids, and tries to do stuff with their kids.

A good Dad should support his children and have fun with them.  They should not be tough inside, hide his feelings and get mad for no reason.  A good Dad is nice to his wife.

I think a good Dad plays with their children and is there for them.  He helps them do homework and makes them study so they can grow up and be someone.

A good Dad is a dad that play with his children.  He also supports him/her on everything they do.  If he was a good Dad, he would never leave his children.

I think a good Dad stays with his kids.  Make sure they have food and they're OK.

I think a good Dad is a person who carries us fishing and loves us more than anybody on earth.  Who is awesome! He works hard for what we have and stayed when our Mom left us.  He always comes to my games and has never missed anything in my life.  He pushes me to make the right decisions.  I love my Daddy so much!!!!

A good Dad would watch a movie with his kids.  He cares, calls and loves them very much.

I think a good Dad will stay with his children.  A good Dad calls and supports his kids.

A good Dad plays with you and has fun with you.  My Dad plays football with me and we have fun together.

I think a good Dad supports and cares about his children.  They should also help them and teach them things they can't learn about in school.  One of the most important things is to respect them and make they know you love them.

I think a good Dad spends time with his children and tries to put them on the right track.

A good Dad is one who cares and wants to do everything with you.  He would play with you go to almost every game you have.


I'll give you a minute to let those sentences sink in.

Can you tell which ones have a Dad?  Can you tell which ones don't?  My challenge to all of you Gold Medal Dads is look around you and look for those kids who need a surrogate Dad.  My students and I laugh a lot in class.  My other teachers in 6th grade refer to me as the "Daddy" of the grade level.  When I told my kids that today, I expected a chuckle.  I didn't get any.  I think some of them, even if they don't know it, want that man in their life.

Brighton is very blessed because he not only has a Mama that loves his but he ALSO has a Daddy that would do anything for him.  So many kids in our world don't have that.  Will you fill that gap?  Trust me, it's easier than you think.  As the words above mention more than once, it just takes a little time.

One of the best days of my life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Do...or do not, there is no try.

For you Star Wars geeks out there, that quote should be very familiar.  For those of you who are not one with the force, allow me to enlighten you.

In the movie Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker travels to Degobah to enlist the training of Yoda, the Jedi Master.  Upon his arrival, he crashes his X-Wing Fighter into the marsh.  He learns of his friends being in danger and has to leave.  Yoda tells him that he can move his plane out of the swamp and his reply, "I'll try."  Yoda then comes back with that famous line, "Do or do not, there is no try."  Yoda then proceeds to move the plane out of the water.

This week, we Gold Medal Dads are challenged to "Balance Work and Family."  This is a huge challenge.

I recently received a brochure from the National Fatherhood Initiative and one statistic hit close to home for me.  According to the brochure, 71% of men would take a pay cut if it meant they could have more time with their family.  I was one of those men.

Don't get me wrong.  I miss the days of, let's call it, financial freedom.  My wife and I didn't blow money, but it was nice to be able to go out to eat and not worry about it so much.  It was cool to be able to go buy that neat gadget and know it would not hurt us for the month.  Those days are behind us.  Currently, crazy us are in the process of working toward a goal of getting my wife home.  If you would like to donate to that cause, please feel free to contact me. :)

I took a pay cut to spend more time with my family and my church.  I was never home.  Retail was good to me, don't get me wrong.  However, once Brighton came along, I learned all that glitters is definitely not gold. So, here I stand, about $15,000 a year poorer for the sake of my son.  Some look at me as though I am crazy.  To them I say, ask my son if he thinks it was worth it?  He said yes, I just asked him.  At least I think he said yes, he was stuffing his face with pizza.  Mama is resting from the pregnancy and Daddy is in charge of supper still.  I think I am going to see if Tombstone pizza wants to sponsor my blog.

The reason I used Yoda's words of wisdom is because balancing work and family is not one of those things you can vow to try.  Look back at all the "try's" in your life.  I tried working out three times a week.  I tried to cut down to one Sun-Drop a day.  I tried to exercise on a regular basis.  I tried to play tennis every Friday with some guys from school.  You see where I am going with this?

In the brochure, I liked a few of the suggestions.

1.  Tell your coworkers about your family commitments.  This is huge.  You cannot mention this in passing.  You have to make this a big deal.  Every year I tell my grade level that I can meet at any time to discuss the grade's plans and interventions, except after school.  After 3:05 p.m., mild-mannered Mr. Wood turns into Super Daddy or Bat-Husband.  I like either one, lol.  They need to know that you are a team player, but you will not sacrifice your family for work.

2.  Do your job!  The brochure says "Stay Busy and Focused" but I like my version better.  Get to your job, get your stuff done, and go home.  Don't doodle around the office talking to everyone about everything.  Workplace relationships are important, but the quicker you get your job done, the quicker you can go home.  The brochure goes to the extreme of suggesting a "Do Not Disturb" sign.  I, myself, arrange my desk in my classroom so people cannot see me when they are walking by.  I am not being rude, but during my planning times, I try to get as much grading and work done as I possibly can.  Trust me, my wife loves the fact that she sees virtually none of my school work.

3.  Limit work on weekends, vacations, and holidays.  I read once of an executive that had a special email for people to ask him questions on vacation.  It was something like  I loved it because it forced the person to actually write out what they were doing to that man.  Your family loves you and does not like sharing you.  Trust me, when I worked at retail and people would call me at home at night and on my days off to ask questions, my wife was not a happy camper.

Did you notice that none of the suggestions said try to tell your coworkers about your family.  Or, try to get done with everything at work.  Did it say try to limit work on weekends?  It said do it.

This week don't try to be the Father God wants you to be.  Don't try to be the Daddy your son or daughter needs you to be.  Just do it.

Here is the newest picture of our little one.  He or she is growing like a weed.  It is hard to believe that three weeks ago they looked a peanut with legs and arms.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's about balance?


I am a school teacher so my summer is over.  I know some of you are saying, "Oh, you poor baby."

I allowed school to sneak up on me this year.  I am teaching 6th grade Reading Language Arts again and I am ecstatic to be back with the older kids.  Since we are talking about balance this week in the Gold Medal Dad Games, this is a perfect time for me to have this checklist to work on.  Let's talk about my day today.

I woke up this morning and got ready.  I woke up my catatonic son and forced him to go to the bathroom.  He almost fell off the toilet while he was trying to stay awake.  We left for the babysitter, where Bright crawled on the couch and went back to sleep.

We had meetings at school until lunch.  My wife called and thankfully was having a fairly sick-free day.  However, we are probably seeing a pregnancy specialist since my wife's pregnancy recently was upgraded to a high-risk pregnancy.  As hard as my day was, hers I know was harder.

I was at school until about 5:00 and left for home.  I got in, fixed Bright a drink and started on supper.  Thank goodness I managed to have it ready at the exact time my wife got home so she didn't have to wait on it and could get something in her stomach.

Balance.  Balance is what keeps things from crashing.  Balance keeps things from breaking.  If one side is heavier than the other, something is going to fall.

Growing up, my father would sometimes bring his "bad day" home from work.  We could tell how the door would close if it was going to be a bad mood or a good mood.  I swore then and there, that when I grew up I would leave work at work.

I can honestly say that I have done a good job of leaving the manager at the door and allowed the husband and Daddy to come home.  I looked at my house as a retreat, an escape.  I looked forward to going home to see my wife and play with my son.  I enjoyed it so much that I left retail to become a teacher.  I promised my wife that I would leave "Mr. Wood" at school and especially for my son's sake.  I am his Daddy, not his educator.  I thought I would allow my wife to tell you what she likes about how I separate work and home.

"I don't ever feel like Maury takes anything out on me because of a bad or good day.  I never know if he had a good or bad day unless he tells me.  He has a good work ethic, which is bad at times.  When he was in retail, he wasn't able to contribute anything at home because of his workload and his need to finish his job.  That was one of the reasons he had to leave because he was out of balance as far as home and work.  Since him becoming a teacher, he is able to compartmentalize and balances family and work a lot better."
--Karen Wood

Any other advice, dear?

"Yes, use the time on the way home to let go of your day."--Karen Wood

This week, we will concentrate on our balancing act and making sure we are spending time with our families.  To mention something from former weeks, also be sure to give your spouse her time too.  She is part of the balancing act on the home side as well.

Remember, let's be the fathers God wants us to be and the Daddy our children need us to be.

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