Years ago I remember telling some coworkers that I wished Doug could work from home. They responded with laughter, assuring me that I would get tired of it very quickly.
I wasn’t so sure.
Here we are, many years later, and Doug and I both work from home. We have desks on opposite sides of a room in our house. He has an office at church, but there really isn’t much reason for him to consume the resources it takes to keep the church cool and warm just for him when he can do his work just as effectively at home.
And I love having him here, just as I expected I would.
There is a misconception about our family life, though. People assume that our choice to homeschool and to have both of us working from home means that we interact as a family all the time.
But we don’t.
Well, that’s not exactly true. We do interact all the time. I interact with the kids through school, and Doug and I exchange conversations during the work day. But those interactions are all very task-oriented.
Ultimately, even though we do not go our separate ways each day, we still have to be very intentional as a family to interact relationally, just like any other family.
Whether Mom works outside the home or not, at some point she has to to turn off the work side of being a mom and just get to know her children.
Whatever Dad’s work situation looks like, he has to be intentionally about stepping away on a regular basis (and I don’t mean once or twice a year – I mean several times a month!) to truly interact with his wife and with his family as a whole.
We have to be intentional about our family relationships.
But we have to be even more intentional about balancing those family relationships and our marital relationship. Our children need to know that Daddy and Mommy come first with one another. Yet, if we only step back to be intentional about the marriage, our children will begin to believe that only the marriage is important – not the family.
We must balance both.
When is the last time you spend real time with your spouse? With your family? Not multi-tasking by sitting down to plan out the coming week with your spouse or heading out to the ball field together as a family to watch one child play. No, I mean intentional, relational, real time.
When can you set that aside this week?
It could be something as simple as one meal with your spouse.
It could be as easy as thirty minutes of UNO with the family.
But it’s worth doing. Weekly if possible, but at least a couple of times a month. Real time. Relational time. An investment in what is really important.
How can you enjoy real time this week?