Because you can’t have everything, balance is a key to parenting

“Daddy, I want a cookie please”.

This is a harmless request except that it happened at 5:15 in the morning. I then had to have a very difficult conversation with my toddler about why we don’t have cookies all the time.

P1140452As a parent, you spend a lot of time teaching your child about moderation. Each day is a battle to convince them that they need to take naps, eat healthy foods, watch just a little TV,  be nice to the animals and be polite. And though you go to bed frazzled everyday from this struggle, your child grows up smart, healthy and strong because of the balance and moderation you impose on their lives.

When you are an adult and making all the decisions, you don’t have this. You’re supposed to be able to execute balance and moderation in you own life. And there is a sort of fuzzy gray period for most young adults when they stop listening to their parents and start making these choices on their own.

It would be very easy to not practice balance in your own adult life. We see it everywhere. Workaholics alcoholics, shopaholics, chocoholics you name it. Society makes it very easy for a person to overindulged or overextend.

The blog is called Manchild, partly because I worried that I would struggle with balancing the transition into “manhood” before my son was born. Sure enough, I have. I struggle with the fact that I want to do everything…all the time. I work more than I should, write 2 blogs, am part of several local groups, plan multiple events a month, want to train for a half marathon, want to travel every weekend, want to learn more about web development, start my own company, start consulting, start a podcast, start home brewing, see every movie that comes out, snowboard all winter long, go to every party, see my friends all the time, see my family all the time, follow Pearl Jam as they tour the world……and the list goes on.

Oh, and be a great dad and husband.

See the problem in that. I don’t care who you are, you simply can’t do all that to the fullest. I can have all of that in little doses though. It is about practicing balance and moderation. It is also about following the same guidelines that I place on my son. So as he grows healthy and strong I am there to see it, and be part of it.

As an adult you make choices everyday for your children, but you also do for yourself. As a young parent take time to rank the things in life that are most important to you and dedicate most of your resources to them. Everything else, practice in moderation. It isn’t always easy since life presents you with a new “bright and shiny” daily, and I won’t pretend I am very good at this, but I think it is one of the keys to happiness and success in life.

 

Pat Lemieux

About Pat Lemieux

Pat has it all, family, big old house, dogs, a newborn son and a quarter-life crisis. He blogs about trying to be who he has always been and be who he now needs to be. He enjoys 90's grunge metal, tasty local brews and the outdoors.