Introduction and Balance
Hello there and thank you for stopping by to read my contribution to the CHEO Parenting Blog for Moms and Dads. I hope that by sharing my experiences and advice will be able to both inform and entertain you. I started writing about two years ago on and off as a way for me to get my thoughts out in the open as I was learning and dealing with being a father of a child on the Autism Spectrum. As time went on I starting to come to the realization that I wasn’t the only father out there seeking information and advice and have come to discover through different types of social media there is plenty of help out there. So now I spend most of my writing time celebrating the joy that my children have brought into my life and the lessons I have learned (and will continue to learn) along the way.
I wanted to approach my first post about a topic that a lot of parents (especially new parents) face when children come into their lives. Being able to balance work, parenthood, and still be able to have some sort of a social life in between. Our already busy lives get a lot busier once a child enters our life, in the beginning there is feeding, diapers, teething, and the list goes on and on. In a lot of cases by the time our child is asleep we are so wiped from the day that we are not too far behind, and the idea of going out for a romantic dinner, movie, walk, or anything else just seems out of the question. Over time this can certainly take a toll on a relationship and if parents don’t make it a point to have time together and even some alone time the results could be disastrous. The only advice to give on this is quite simple, make it a point to make time for you and your spouse. Set aside a day of the week where you both simply do something together, it could be as simple as cooking a late dinner together after the kids are in bed and curling up to watch a movie or if the kids are old enough for a babysitter a nice night out. Little things like this will make a big difference in the long run.
As a single father myself I do have the ability to maintain a good balance of social life and parenting, and some people would say I have it too good. I kind of beg to differ on that, yes I do have my time away from the kids (I have them 50% of the time), but when they are with me it is just me and me alone. So I think it actually balances itself out in that respect. When the kids are with me I rarely get a babysitter as I feel that it is our time together and I already miss enough time with them when they are with their mom. So when the kids are with me it is truly a balancing act, I say no to a lot of opportunities to go out with friends and yes I may miss out on a great story, fun time, or a great sens win, but to me it is not the end of the world. There will be other great times and hopefully more games the sens manage to win over the season and most likely I will be taking the kids with me to a game or two.
If the opportunity presents itself whereby I can bring the kids to a friend’s for a visit, bbq, etc, I am the first to jump on board. This year I actually took both my kids with me for a nine holes of golf with some coworkers and they had an absolute blast. So I guess what I am trying to say here is that just because you have children it doesn’t mean you have to lock up the doors of your house never to leave again. As a matter of fact it is the total opposite, if you can do activities with friends and include your kids go for it. Make it a point to do it, it will give you child a chance to meet new people and gain more social skills. Of course when doing this I wouldn’t recommend keeping them out till 2am by any stretch so yes you will have to go home earlier to get them in bed at a reasonable time.
The bottom line here is that as parents we have a lot on our plate, we have to juggle many balls in the air, we have our careers, our social life, our relationship with our spouse, and throw on top of all of that caring for our sons or daughters. With so many balls in the air it is very easy for one of more of them to fall to the ground every now and again. When this happens we have to try and pick them back up and take steps to try and make sure we can keep them all up in the air. Doing this is a challenge but it can be done, it is just a matter of finding creative ways to do it. If parents want some alone time during the week suggest one night a week where dad has a guys night and other night where mom has a girls night. When time together is needed, curling up on the couch and watching a movie is always nice and can be done any night, and if you both just need to get out of the house get a babysitter and have a night on the town either with friends or just the two of you. Lastly plan and do fun things as a family with the kids, they are only going to be this age once and believe me they grow up way to fast so make the most of the time you have with them because once they grow up you don’t get a chance to do things over again.
Thanks for reading and feel free to check out my other blog justadadstory.wordpress.com
Trevor is a single father of two children a 5 year old daughter and a 8 year old son. His son was diagnosed as mild to moderate on the Autism Spectrum at 2 and a half year’s old but with a lot of hard work and determination by both parents was reassessed as PDD-NOS in 2009.