I'm Not Just 'Dad'. I'm a Husband and…Me.

Maintaining balance between your three lives

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A random guy on Twitter gave out some great advice the other day.

When asked:

“For those who are 55+, if you could go back and re-live your 30s/40s again — young kids, demanding career, stretched thin — how would you change how you spent your time and attention, and why?”

One of his answers was:

It’s critical to maintain what I call “the 3 lives”: your life as an individual, your life as a couple, and your life as a family. Too many people sacrifice one or more after having kids and it’s a recipe for trouble. Boundaries are everything!”

As a thirty-something guy with a wife, kids, and a demanding job, this hit home.

I think Nicole and I do better than most at maintaining balance (I may be biased), but we tend to lean toward ‘family life’ more than our personal lives or life as a couple.

Given that we have two kids under two, this is probably normal. Maybe even necessary. Kids command attention, and they need a lot of it.

We’re doing OK for now, but I can see how the focus on myself or my wife could dwindle if not nurtured with intention.

Here’s my plan to make sure I don’t look back on these years without regret.

Life as an individual

Do these things:

  • Exercise

  • Eat mostly healthy

  • Do work that makes me happy

  • Spend time with good friends

  • Partake in hobbies for fun, relaxation, and curiosity.

“Not enough time” is not a valid excuse. Even though I’ve embraced my life as a dad, I’m more than that. I’m my own person too.

I need to take care of myself so that I’m happy and at my best.

Life as a couple

Nicole and I are more than Mom and Dad.

We are husband and wife.

We chose each other out of love and respect for one another. I love her, and our relationship deserves attention so that it can flourish. 

These are some of the things to keep doing (besides the obvious intimate stuff):

  • Friendly pillow talk

  • Texting throughout the day

  • Calls during our morning commutes

  • Wake a little early to enjoy 15–20 minutes of silence and coffee together

We’d like to start doing more 1-on-1 date nights (we struggle at the moment). It’s tough with two under two, but we’re working on it.

Life as a family

We’re pretty set on this front.

The plan is to continue to love, support, guide, and have fun together as much as possible.

  • Family movies

  • Family dinners

  • Family game nights

  • Family walks around the neighborhood

  • One-on-one time with each of the kids

These are what we like to focus on. Family togetherness is obviously important, but so is that last one. And it’s a real doozy if I’m being honest. Spending one-on-one time with everyone is tough, but they all need it.

Cheers to a life with no regrets.