We’ve reached April somehow, and our sanity is partially intact. The days are getting longer, but there’s still not enough hours in the day. And with everything going on in this family, you may wonder; is it even possible to manage a busy family as an older dad? I’m here to tell you, Maybe!
If you’re an older parent wondering how to deal with the chaos of kids, work, marriage, activities, LIFE, you’ve come to the right place. I have all the answers in an easy-to-read post that won’t add to the stress of your out of control day. Read on!
It’s a sunny Sunday as I write this. I’ve got my “Tropical Beach Sounds” playing on Spotify, the cat is having a bath in a sunny spot on the couch, and Heather is out running around being the perfect Dance Mom.
A Very Busy Month
As I wrote about previously, Zach and his Improv team are getting ready to head off to Ottawa for the CIG (Canadian Improv Games) Nationals. They won their regional tournament here on Vancouver Island, which got them into the national competition. You’ll probably be receiving this article in your inbox as I’m taking him to the airport on Tuesday morning. Early. Could even be called late night. Around what we affectionately call What the F*ck o’clock.
The parents went into crazy fundraising mode, doing everything they could to raise the $16,000 or so to get the kids across the country. With less than a month to make it happen, the odds were against us.
But we happen to live in an amazing little town. The good folks of Ladysmith, including private citizens, local and national businesses, service clubs, as well as family and friends from across the country and around the world contributed. Did we do it? Damn right, we did it!
Thursday night was the Improv show up at the high school. A busy, hectic, chaotic three weeks culminated in a busy, hectic, chaotic night. But in the end, we raised all the money, and more. Thanks to everyone who supported this great group of young performers!
Meanwhile, Beth-Rose was gearing up for another dance festival. A heavy dance schedule over 4 days, with multiple trips back and forth to the theatre. Heather was there for all the performances, being the awesome Dance Mom. And Beth-Rose was being the awesome Dancer! Holy crap, she’s getting so good!
The Fundraising Never Stops
Not only that, but Beth-Rose is getting ready to head off to Disneyland in California with her dance studio. They’ll be dancing in the Disneyland parade in early July. Just after she gets back from her trip to Germany! And she and Heather have been engaged with fundraising for that trip for months. Bottle drives, plant sales, Christmas crafts, Easter baskets, meat sales (my favourite!) The fundraising never stops!
This is her second trip to dance in Disneyland. The whole family went down in 2019 for her first experience. It was lots of fun, watching all that money get sucked into the Disney Black Hole. But this time it’ll just be Beth-Rose and Heather going. Once was enough for Zachary and I.
And now here we are, at the end of a very busy early Spring. You’re probably getting pretty anxious to learn how to manage a busy family as an older dad. If you’re like me, operating on the razor edge of sanity, this information could be pretty important. Maybe even life-saving. So I’ll get to it.
Remember some time back, I wrote an article about naps being good for you? That’s right, that’s Step One!
Step 1 Take A Nap
I simply can’t stress this enough. Take A Nap. No matter how busy your life gets, there’s always time for a nap. Got too much going on in your life? Feeling overwhelmed and out of your depth? There’s a nap for that! (see what I did there?)
Step 2 Marry A Woman Who’s Better Than You
I mean, everybody knows that men are completely inept at multi-tasking. We’re barely capable of uni-tasking! So when there’s lots of juggling to do, and you know your brain will explode just thinking about everything that needs to be done, just step aside and let your significant other take control. And go take a nap.
In my life, Heather has the uncanny ability to hold down a more than full-time job, coordinate calendars for each of the kids (and yours truly), keep on top of their school work, nurture lifelong relationships with our International Students, and look gorgeous. All while making sure I don’t go out in public wearing a Hawaiian shirt with baggy sweatpants.
Step 3 Enjoy The Moment
When there’s so much going on, and life is crazy busy, it’s a good idea to step back and savour those little moments. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the details of the day, and miss out on the moments that make up a life. Take photos with your mind’s eye and store them in your memory. If you’re an older dad like me, maybe write them down too…
I’m learning that, as our kids get older and closer to moving out on their own, the little moments are precious and irreplaceable. We can’t keep holding onto our kids, but we can hold onto the memories.
Step 4 Laugh Often
Nothing brings a family together better than shared laughter. As a stress reliever, laughing is second to none. And laughter goes hand in hand with #3, Enjoy the Moment. Family memories filled with laughter create endorphins with every reminiscence.
We laugh lots in our family. Beth-Rose and I do silly things all the time, and we laugh with and at one another. Laughter is contagious, and it feels wonderful. Just our laughing can get Heather and Zachary laughing along with us. Granted, I do have a pretty funny giggle…
My Dad liked a good laugh. And like him, I cry when I laugh. Although my cheeks often hurt and I have a difficult time breathing, laughing feels great. Even with the tears streaming down my cheeks!
So there you have it! How to manage a busy family life as an older dad in 4 simple steps. These probably work even for younger dads, but I don’t have any experience with that. If you are a younger dad, try them out and let me know.
And now, because the sun has gone, replaced by rain and a bit of sleet, I feel a nap coming on. Oh, the things I sacrifice to keep this family ticking along...