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“Sure, staying home more with my kids would be awesome – but I have to work.”

That is what many fathers will tell you.

But is that really true?

In an amazing video (see below) made by IKEA children are asked to write a wish-list to The Three Kings (the Spanish equivalent to Santa Claus).

They all wish for things.

Then the kids are then asked to write a second letter to their parents wishing what they want from them.

Suddenly the kids are not asking for things anymore – they are asking for time.

“I wish you would spend more time with me. That we do more experiments at home.”

“I would like it if you would have dinner with us more often.”

“I want you to spend one whole day with me.”

They ask for time. Not Toys.

Now ask yourself: How much have you spent on toys, classes and other things for your child the last year?

How many hours did you have to work to make the money needed to buy those things?

Now, if you instead of working those hours had spent that time with your child what do you think would have made your children happier?

What would have made you happier?

 

And it is not about taking years off and stop working all together. I totally understand that I am in a fortunate position who can take months of unpaid leave to be with my kids. But how many fathers could not take a couple of weeks? A month?

Would a month make any difference, you ask?

I am utterly and 100% sure that extra month at home bonding with your child will make a much bigger difference to you, your child and your family than that one months salary – when all the plus and minuses are summed up together at the end of your life.

Do a budget and see how much you are spending on, say your car, your hobbies, your vacation, etc and then ask: “What if I did not spend all of that money , but instead worked a little bit less and spend that time with my kids.

Again – what would make you happier?

The joy of having kids is, arguably, the greatest joy there is. But that is, again arguably,  beaten by the joy that a child feels when it feels that her parents are spending time with her because they love doing it over anything else.

No, not every father in the world can afford to spend more time with his kids. But 99% of us can. And probably 100% of the dads reading this.

So do it. Your children will love you for it. And you will love it too. I can almost promise you that.

ps. I do not know if it is a coincidence, but in this video it is only the mothers talking. The dad’s are just sitting there silently, like they are too ashamed to even say the words out loud. But perhaps I am just over analysing 😉

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 21.14.03

(Screen shot from the video.)

 

Watch the video here. It is well worth watching.

(Please share this post if you share this message.)

Fredrik Haren

A blog about the magic of fatherhood and paternity leave. Written by Fredrik Haren, professional speaker and author who is now on semi-paternity leave with his three children.

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