In Holly Pierlot’s book A Mother’s Rule of Life, she identifies the five main priorities of a mom’s life, in this order: (1) Prayer, (2) Person (meaning, “self care”), (3) Partner, (4) Parent, (5) Provider.
I think they apply equally to a dad’s life, and in at least one way, I think Dads have things harder than moms, with these priorities.
My mom stayed at home with me and my sister for a period of years. I’m currently staying home with my daughter, Pitter Patter, so that we will have one parent who can do the work of forming the children full-time.
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That is the thing in which dads really have it hard. The thing they spend most of their day doing - the thing that consumes most of their energy - is not their second priority, not their third, but the thing that is fifth on the list of priorities.
By the time they’re done dedicating the best eight hours of their day (and often more) to priority number five, they come home to do the things that are more important.
It is hard to imagine anything more difficult than to come home from a long day, when you are tired, and only have the dregs of your energy left to give to God, yourself, your wife, and your children.
It is hard to imagine anything more difficult, except that it is reality, for many men.
Their jobs have lots of deadlines and require lots of overtime. They have to stay until the work is done, or they bring it home with them. Their jobs require travel, which keep them away from their families all together for days at a time.
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Daniel says the best part of his day is when his little girl runs to meet him at the door (even though she runs away just as quickly), and helping her learn how to count by doing baby presses, and teaching her how to pray, and reading bible stories at night. The best parts of his day - when he is worn out from work.
I can’t imagine letting Daniel do without these in exchange for anything under the sun.
Mommas, don’t let your husbands think that there is anything you’d rather have than his presence in his children’s lives.
Nothing is more precious.