I have guilty parent syndrome.
The challenge of fitting 4 weeks annual leave into 16 weeks of school holidays every year leaves me thinking that my boys have missed out; that their holiday experiences have not been worthwhile.
It’s not that my wife or myself do not spend time with our boys during the school breaks, it’s just we simply cannot spend ALL the time with them. We tend to assume to role of holiday program coordinator for when we’re not available – arranging incredible people to hang with them and for visits to friends. This often includes park trips, movies, swimming, sleepovers, theme parks, sport and for one of our boys this recent holiday, even a speed boat adventure!
So on the face of it, I reckon our boys thoroughly enjoy their holidays. And they enthusiastically (well, mostly…) proclaim they do.
It’s just that if I’m not there, I tend to think it wasn’t worthwhile… guilty parent syndrome.
Whilst my presence changes the dynamic and is certainly important, my absence does NOT equate to a lack of value. And this is something that seeps into other areas of my life. It’s almost as if I’m suggesting that without my direct involvement, something isn’t as worthwhile for all the other participants. This is more about my insecurity than anything else.
I need to have confidence in the plans I have developed, the people I have engaged and allow them to create an experience with their touch. This then allows for those times when I am directly involved, for experiences to be flavoured by me, a genuine point of difference!
Whether it be family or work or anywhere else, we need to ascertain when we can be directly engaged and those times when we can’t, or perhaps, even shouldn’t. Empowering others should make an activity more worthwhile, not less.
Let’s create an experience-rich environment for our families and colleagues, with and without us!
LET HOPE RISE.