Have you ever told yourself “This house looks like a war zone” when you get home?
The dishes in the sink look like they are a foreign enemy that needs a Dish Soap Grenade, you stumble on the kid’s shoes that were somehow kicked off right in the doorway and you look aimlessly in the refrigerator wondering if your personal Chef Fairy is going to deliver you something amazing for the family dinner. Be honest… it’s almost an everyday occurrence for many of us.
That’s right, you’re not alone. If you’re like most American families today we cram as much as we can in a day and the last thing we “want” to do at night is clean it all up to do it again tomorrow. The rinse-wash-repeat process should really be focused on the dishwasher but it’s pretty applicable to everyday life isn’t it?
Early on in growing a family you can be naive enough to think that the tranquil bliss of newlyweds or pre-kids is a simple dinner for two dates, laundry once a week, and do the dishes occasionally will last forever. You’re wrong!
There was a time that I thought that. Babies are so cute. There’s a little more laundry when they have a blowout, but not a lot is different. Then come the diapers & toys… everywhere.
One was nice, how about we have another. Just a little more hectic, little less sleep, little more laundry, but doable. More toys… what? More stuff in the car? Why does it take us 45 minutes to get in the car to go to the grocery store now? Come on!
These little blessings start to grow. More food, more laundry, you get the point. Wait a minute, you mean we have to get them to school on time!
Suddenly a dad’s mind goes into a flashback of the one awesome play you made on your high-school football team.
Panic sets in like it’s the final seconds of a championship game! You’re throwing lunches to Mom to get in the kid’s backpack like you’re Peyton Manning, jumping over your youngest like Barry Sanders heading for the end zone, and somehow you catch a falling bowl of cereal like Jerry Rice before Cheerios spill all over the floor.
It’s life… every day. It doesn’t matter how planned you are if you want a family to get ready for it.
Just like a well-executed option play during football season, you can be the hero or the zero… as they say.
Here’re two examples:
Dads Can Be a Real Leader of the Team
Everyone likes the Golden Boy. The guy who always has a smile knows when to pass the ball, or when to run the ball. The guy who even though he might not have the most conventional throwing arm, he hits the target every time.
This guy looks at what needs to be done to get everyone pulling in the right direction. There’s no one player better than the other. He appreciates what each person is doing. No, he’s not perfect he just encourages the whole team on the positive things they do for others.
Are we always going to make the right call or always be perfect? No Way! However, we can start to see what we can do to build each other up.
If we can support the strengths of the rest of our family, that puts us in a position to build them up and overcome the obstacles of daily overwhelm. They want to pull for you then as an understanding leader rather than one of frustration.
There’s a turning point that we find out working together to get all of the daily activities and the onslaught of home life is the only way to win the game. It’s a perpetual clock that we have to keep looking for the end zone in achieving a touchdown for our family.
Maybe you’ve seen the thrill a team gets or a touchdown dance a player makes when they score. While it looks good on TV, it can’t compare to the joy your family has when they see we’re all on the same page and call it a success when we lift each other up.
Dads Can Act Like a Superstar and Tell Everyone About It
Nobody likes the Quarterback who thinks he’s better than anyone on the team. Sure he’s 6’4” 225 lbs of pure muscle and can throw a ball 200 yards, and he tells everyone he can do it.
That guy is also the one that starts to get frustrated and bark orders. Not really trying to enlist support from the rest of the team, but more complaining like they didn’t do their job.
Let’s be clear. You’re probably not 6’4” and 225 lbs of rock hard abs like your mind thinks. Your wife married you knowing you’d be soft and cuddly someday so you’re not quite as cool as you think.
If you take the “better than the team” approach there’s a funny thing that starts happening. The team stops fighting for you. One day you find yourself being sacked by a 325 lb lineman called the doghouse and still not feeling any better about yourself.
Yes, there’s going to be fumbles, dropped catches, and dishes left in the sink. You’re going to step on another Lego when you get your coffee in the morning. Privacy in the bathroom is a dream, and It’s going to be OK.
We have to remember that we’re always leading, they are always watching. How we choose to lead is our choice. In the words of Jon Foreman and Switchfoot “Life is short, I want to live It well”.