Man in the Mirror Chapter 7 Questions 3 and 4
Posted by gshstudy on June 6, 2007
3) Why do men get so wrapped up in their careers that they forget to be good husbands and fathers?
So the easy canned answer to this is that society expects men to achieve and provide for their families in a material sense. And I would agree that there is pressure to do this. I can recall a great deal of it from my parents growing through my twenties since I wasn’t motivated by success or career in those days. But I believe there is another possible explanation for this.
Most of the guys I know are like I am. They desire a sense of completion. Get a task and complete it. If something is broken, just fix it. Need to write an article, just write it. Easy. At work, if I get a task, I feel a sense of achievement and pride in just completing it. (Doesn’t always happen but career challenges are not part of the scope for this article)
But I have learned that be a husband and father does not fit into this neat little package of get a task and complete it. Occasionally I teach my children something and don’t have to teach it to them again. Mission accomplished, task completed. But that is very rare. More likely, it is teach, re-teach, teach again, wonder why they haven’t learned to do this task, teach again and then get frustrated because it is the tenth time I have gone over it. And I should note, my kids are really smart so it is probably my ability to teach.
It is a challenge to feel rewarded from this constant up hill climb, pushing the boulder an inch forward only to have it roll two inches back. But I have heard my children pray in ways I can only dream of. Or they are pretending to be Jedi knights saving household from the enemy troopers. Or having a BBQ. Or it could be just spending time at the movies.
Careers are the quick fix but family is the accomplishment that is worth a lifetime.
4) Have you found the pursuit of a higher standard of living to be worth the price?
Nope. A guy I worked with at Plymouth State College used to say, you can advance to a point were the increase in pay doesn’t equal the increase in aggravation. But you won’t know it until it is too late.