01 NovHow Much Time Does “Dad” Take?
It takes time to be a Dad or a Mom. Just one child will dramatically change the time allocation in your life. Two children will square that first result. What appears to be a pattern doesn’t hold true after that. Three children doesn’t necessarily cube the result. I’ve found that after three children the next child doesn’t add the same weight the first three did. I’ve found that eight children isn’t the burden that the wide eyes of people who have just heard how many children I have seem to think it is.
Every parent knows how important spending time with children is. How do you spend enough time with eight children? Certainly three children will get more attention from a Dad than eight children. I had only three children once. I remember spending a lot of time with those boys. Now I have five at home. I spend a lot of time with those boys and girls. There are more of them so they must be getting less time, right? Maybe, but it doesn’t seem like it. Saturday morning I woke up my two teenage daughters and my twelve-year-old son and we went and cut more wood. That was three hours of good, quality time with three of my five children. We had fun. The girls sang again. We told stories and caught up life details.
After a shower and a nap I came into the family room to be rushed by my seven-year-old.
Boomerangs are a thing we like to do. There were other things I wanted to do, but my kids aren’t getting any younger so I grabbed the bag of boomerangs and we headed out to the back field. The group ended up including my seven and twelve year-old sons, my nine-year-old daughter, and two of their friends. We threw, chased, and caught boomerangs for a couple of hours. It was great fun.
Later I needed to run into town to pick up some patching tar for the roof. I asked my nine-year-old daughter to come with me. She thought about it, and then decided she would. On the way to town she told me stories of her dance class and other adventures. In the parking lot we held hands and I twirled her on the way to the store door.
On Sunday we had to get after a pile of dishes. I called them all in and we got to work. There isn’t enough room for five kids at once doing dishes, but they have a way of trading off at certain points. They talked and argued and committed horseplay (my fourteen-year-old daughter snapped me with a towel). In the end we got the dishes done, too.
So three kids, five kids, or eight kids—it takes a lot of time no matter how many you have if you do it right. More kids don’t take more time, they just take more creativity with the time you already have.