You come home after having been on your feet for 8 to 10 hours. The boss was driving you nuts for the peskiest of things. In your mind, the last thing you want to deal with is a wife that seems to bombard you with a “can you do this, or can you do that? “list. And the idea of your children screaming at the top of their lungs only seems to add to your mood as you open the door to your home.
The world is a competitive place and dads are under the pump to work harder, earn more and keep up with their colleagues. Shutting off from that when you get home can be a difficult tasks for dads….but it can be done.
However, a combination of mindfulness and conscious effort will be the key
Leave the workplace baggage…at the workplace.
Mindfulness is about living in the present moment. When you leave work, consciously imagine you have picked up the work part of your mind and left it on your desk, or somewhere in the workplace.
Imagine you have a briefcase with all of your work worries, your to do list, the way your boss spoke to you, the demands and pressures of what you need to do. Close the imaginary suitcase and leave it at work until you return.
Perform a wind down ritual on the way home
On the trip home take the time to stop dwelling on the issues that occurred at work. Some people do this by prayer; some do it by a mental relaxation. Whatever your preferred method of cleaning out the workplace cobwebs…do it. Mentally prepare yourself to be part of a happy time of your day being home with your loved ones.
A mind picture of what awaits you at home can do wonders. Of your son running up to you and giving you the biggest hug possible. Or the woman you married still brings the smile to your face when you see her.
If that doesn’t work (perhaps your wife is not usually in a happy frame of mind right in the middle of arsenic hour) do something else that helps you to unwind – playing softer music, stopping of for one beer on the way home with a friend, sitting at the beach for 5 minutes, going for a walk around the block before getting in your car, going for a coffee break.
It may seem like you should be going straight home to help your partner with the children, but if you perform a deliberate act with the intention of winding down from work and preparing yourself for the transition into family, you will be much more help to your partner than if you were still in work/stress mode.
Remember your spouse is your friend and not your fiend.
When you’ve had a hard day and work, your boss got on your nerves or your co-workers really set your mood off on the wrong track, it is too easy to take it out on the ones we love.
When you get home from work, if you’re still irritable, as you go about the evening routine, take some time to be in the present moment. Really look at your partner, see what you love about her, watch what’s happening for her (that may be behind why she’s so grumpy at you – it’s probably not even about you). Show her some affection, even if you don’t feel like it because this may be just what you need to soften your mood.
The lady of your life is your friend – your partner in life. Yes, you can sit down and share what happened at work…but do it in the solitude of your bedroom or over coffee when the children are in bed. Right now when you walk through the door, remember the happiness of the past and bring it into the present moment. Recognise that what has occurred in the past doesn’t exist until you bring it into the present with your conscious mind.
Guess what…she cares and is there to support and to encourage. More than that, she is there to love you. Love her back. Where is that stress now?
Fun times everyone!
Why not be the light that comes into the home when you get there, rather than adding what could be another grumpy face to the chaos.
With deliberate and conscious effort you can walk through those doors of an evening and deliberately shift the energy of the household by bringing some fun and laughter into the family
Chance are, if your wife has been home all day with toddlers and babies she could be tired, exhausted and starting to see you as the help that walks through the door. You have the power to change that by being the fun that walks through the door instead. I can guarantee that as long as you’re still helping to the evening routine done, the laughter and fun will reward you a lot more than being grumpy and stressed.
One of the best stress releasers is to NOT be you sometimes. Make it about the family.
Family is special. It’s what’s really important. If something happened to your family you would forget about work in a heartbeat because you would realise what’s really special to you. don’t wait for something bad to happen. Make your family time of an evening, your special time. Enjoy each other. Let your family be your oasis rather than an extension of your stress.