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Finding a Work or Watch Activity for Emergencies

Jeff:
All right, here’s a fun topic for today, and that is finding a…I put watch and work together. A work or watch activity with your kids for emergencies. Now, this one’s really important. And I think we can… I don’t know about you Jeremy, when I read that, I don’t think we mean if someone’s dying and need to go to the ER emergency, but just when the house starts to break down, the wife starts to get overwhelmed, it starts to get a little chaotic. You need to have a plan because that happens, actually, pretty frequently. It shouldn’t be happening every week, hopefully, because of rhythms and things like that. But for us, I’d probably say it happens at least once a month. Right? Maybe, probably twice a month and maybe it’s not even an emergency, but it’s just, I can start to sense it would be helpful. Right?

Jeremy:
Right. Yes.

Jeff:
And so what’s really helpful for us, is having those things in your back pocket that take no thought and that you don’t have to think about it. And basically, it’s just autopilot. So for us, I think it’s we go to Bubble Tea right down the street. It’s two minutes. You’ve been there, that little market, down the street by the hotels, where you just, “Hey, let’s go get Bubble Tea,” and I totally trick the kids. Well, I don’t trick them. They know that’s what they get, but I always get water with boba. So the treat is not the actual bubble tea. It’s just the little bubbles. And so it cost me like 75 cents, too. So it’s an actual great investment because-

Jeremy:
Yeah, you hacked it like three ways.

Jeff:
Yeah, it’s like $7 for a legit boba tea, but they only charge you 75 cents for a cup of ice and the boba. And the kids just want the fun-ness of that and the no sugar. That’s a whole ‘nother side conversation on how kids are more pleased than you think with little stuff. But that’s ours. Right? And so I’ll just be like, “Hey guys, hop in the car. We’re going.” And then they like it because it’s a treat. So they don’t say like… Because sometimes I don’t want to leave mom and all that. And then boom. I say, “I’ll be right back,” all that type of stuff. So I think having that is really important, but why would you say, why stuff like that?

Jeremy:
Yeah. So part of what I’m trying to figure out here, and this is… Let’s say you need to get… One of the things, this came up in our Facebook group is a dad was saying, “I am super busy with work. I work from home, I’m overwhelmed. My wife’s overwhelmed. What do I do? We’re in emergency mode.” And what I started to talk about was, because we had definitely had these seasons before as a family with five kids. And, like Jeff just described, I had this bunch of places I could go.

Jeff:
Yeah, just boom.

Jeremy:
And some of them, and this is again an emergency situation where it just feels overwhelming, there’s places I could go and actually get some work done. It wasn’t 100% focused, but I could actually… There was an indoor playground in the mall close to where we were, and it was all completely contained.

And so I take a two year old and four year old and I drop him into this little playground and I’d open my laptop and I just, and I look up every like every two minutes. Okay. Everybody’s cool. Everybody’s cool. It’s a little freaky, probably your wife might say you’re neglecting a little bit, but again, it’s emergency situation.

When my kids got a little older, I would do a park. I did parks all the time. I had to Chucky Cheese. I would take, oftentimes our youngest would be the most work. And so there were all kinds of times where I would just take one of them. And I would literally I go to a restaurant or like Jeff just said, Bubble Tea, someplace that, and I would just put them in a high chair. I’d open my laptop, I’d give them food. I talk to them.

Jeff:
Just keep feeding them.

Jeremy:
Talk to them. I could keep them busy with foods, different things for a good hour to get a lot of work done. A lot of guys don’t do any integration and they start to have more kids, more work, their wife’s burning out. And they’re like, “Ah,” and the answer oftentimes is there’s no more hours. And so you have to have tools in your back pocket for integrating work, sometimes time with your kids and work, get through these seasons. And again, this is more emergency. I’m very much in favor of completely having time where you’re present and focused. But I also think there is realistically times where you got to get two things done at once. And I think dads have to figure out how to take the kids along with them more often and figure out what combinations really give your wife a huge break, but don’t actually interrupt your work a hundred percent, maybe just 20%. And then it works out for everyone. And so we had… Get through these seasons and Jeff, any other thoughts about ways that you guys try to work that out?

Jeff:
I wasn’t thinking through the work one too, and I think that one’s important too. It’s not just emergencies for your wife, but then also for you of like, “Hey, I just need to get something done,” but the kids are… In this context it’s not possible. And so I even think for me, I’ll even sometimes, that’s when I’ll even sometimes bust out a show or something. Because I think sometimes we just do shows to veg out. When I think of shows as a really great tool. So it’s like use them in very specific, tactical ways. And so if Alyssa asks go do something, but I really have to do a phone call or something like that. So I’m just like, “Hey,” and it’s a treat for them. I would say that. Take them out to a park is a big one. Any type of self… Learning those spaces that are self contained, self-sustainable are huge. And almost writing them down and putting them in your brain for your whole neighborhood in your whole city is really, really important.

Jeremy:
Yes. One last tool too, is that it’s really important to train your oldest child, to be able to help their siblings in those contained environments, because that’ll double the amount of focus during these emergency times. If not a hundred percent of the problems are always coming to you, but they’re able to start to learn how to help each other work through situations in the park or whatever. So this is a really specific situation, but I just think a lot of guys get into this situation and their attitude is they tell their wife, “I have got to work, keep the kids away from me,” and then she’s burning out. That is not the solution, oftentimes because you’re both going to go down. You’ve got to find some points of integration for your work and your time with your kids.

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