I have to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and all the best for a happy and safe 2012.
The festive season or silly season can be a real challenge for not just families, but Dad’s as well.
Sure Christmas often brings together extended family and everyone is half expecting that after a few to many beers a couple of uncles might end up blow for blow on the front lawn, but what about the immediate family we live in day to day.
Those two weeks we work so hard for all year have so much riding on them.
I have four kids and if everyone got what they wished for it would probably cost me a month’s wages.
Managing the material expectations of Generation Y can be exhausting most of the time but at Christmas it’s completely overwhelming.
I’m not sure what Generation my three-year-old falls into, but as yet his needs aren’t so great.
After receiving a swag of beautiful and often expensive presents from those that love him, he happily spent Christmas afternoon playing with a blue balloon he found amongst the decorations box.
So lets put the material cost of Christmas aside.
For two weeks a year we get to spend time with those we love.
For those two weeks we are often are, and often strive to be in each other’s company 24/7.
For Dad’s this means trying to fit in as basically the outsider.
In most family mixes Dad often only gets to see the kids for as little as 30 minutes per day, and probably only gets to see Mum an hour longer than that if they’re lucky.
Suddenly you are around all day every day for two weeks!
Finding your place in such a short time can be a challenge, especially when you are trying to turn the 50 weeks a year work head off and just be present.
Within my family we add three school age kids, who all go to different schools, so again maybe see each other 1.5hrs before school and maybe 4hrs after,
Around about the third week in December, (like it or not) we are all thrust together 24/7 for the best part of two weeks.
Add to this heady mix either a camping holiday, where we are all confined to a small tent, or we staying at home and hosting maybe a dozen more extended family within our home and you can see the odds are stacked against keeping even some of the people happy, some of the time.
Does this little social experiment sound familiar at your house?
Well don’t stress to much Dads , if you managed to survive the Christmas gauntlet run without upsetting to many in your household, relax, you have 50 weeks or so before you try it all again…
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