7 'Dads Corner' Basics
Balancing Work and Life

A dads job is a tough one filled with responsibility and constant work as a father, husband and family man. I find there's always something that needs to be done with the family, in the home and at work. Balancing work and life is a challenge for me. My hope is that these tips will strengthen us men as we walk together to focus on the family and be their hero.

Dads, there are just too many things to do. I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer thought of the responsibilities that God has given charge to me.

I began looking at my role in life and my role within my family as an opportunity that God has prepared me for with specific abilities & talents to guide, mold & encourage.

I am still working at it and honestly sometimes still struggling...

Let me share with you 7 helpful tips just for the men, just for Dads to help each of us on this journey in being the man of the house, taking up the torch and being the hero for our family that God intended for us...

May your relationships with your wife and kids strengthen day by day.

Keep falling in love over & over again with your wife--the love of your life.

Corner Basics--Tip #1: Marriages -- Fuel The Flame
With each year and each new baby I have felt the challenge of trying to have some quality time with my wife and trying to keep on building up our relationship. This is Tuff Stuff for dads and husbands!

How can I make the time to keep on dating my wife?

I needed some kind of 'tricks' or strategies to keep building our marriage relationship regardless of all the stress, kids, distractions and stuff that just comes up every day and pulls me away in all directions.
Here are a few ideas that I have been working on:
  • Plan & prepare special occasion gifts
  • - Her Birthday & Your Anniversary
    - Mother's Day & Wife's Day
    - Valentine's Day, Christmas & Easter
    - Leave a self-carved pumpkin for her
    - Flowers & a note just because...
  • Stop, sit & Take time to listen
  • Hold yourself back to solving the problems
  • Help her with things she needs to do
  • - pick up the vacuum
    - finish the dishes
    - help with the kids schoolwork
    - give the kids a bath
    - draw her a bubble bath
    - make her dinner & dessert
  • Kiss her in passing--hold it for a 10 second count
  • Hold her hand again
  • Give an extra Hug every time I see her
  • Reminisce falling in love with each other
  • Please, Thank You & Use Good Manners
  • Lift her up with positive words of encouragement
  • Compliment her every day
  • Try some Romance Ideas and be romantic with her
  • Plan special surprises created just for her
  • Make a special Date For Just The Two Of You
I haven't figured all of this out but I am working on it and I am having a lot of fun trying to be creative and thoughtful on doing things for my wife.

She is a very special lady and every strategy I am trying to use holds a single purpose--to actively keep my beautiful wife and life partner in the forefront of my thoughts through every single day. Keeping the marriage alive, 'fueling the flame' and keeping that 'spark' I think, comes down to this simple principle: Premeditated Thoughtfulness!

Focus On Her & Think About Her Every Chance You Can

As family men, we are bombarded by temptations of every kind--we must be strong! If we are constantly looking & 'hunting' for ways to better serve and build up our wives, I am convinced we will not find time to serve temptations, and our marriage relationships will grow stronger every day.

Let's remember the girlfriend we fell in love with, proposed to & married...

We saw nothing 'wrong' in her and loved everything about her: the way her hair bounced in a pony tail, her smile, how she wiggled her nose and loved playing with kids. Look at all the little things she does that you like and those you are allowing to annoy you, learn to see them as 'cute', unique, beautiful and adorable traits specially made just for you. These little things we will miss the most. We are first husbands then dads.

Men! Dads! Fathers! Let's 'FIREPROOF' OUR MARRIAGE

Corner Basics--Tip #2: Finance Management -- Money and Family
As our family continues to grow our finances get tighter and tighter. we actually live on 1 income and a teacher's income is not as large as you might think--but we can make it work. This is one challenging role as dads.

Living on 1 income can be done but all financial decisions must fall under the authority of a main motivating financial goal. We had to start with the decision to run our family on 1 income, then all other decisions would have to be made within the budgetary confines of that income.

Whether on 1 or 2 incomes, every decision we face becomes a finance management puzzle piece to keep on track with our family financial goal.

Decide on what you want to achieve financially for your family, focus first on WHY you want it, the How will always follow & come out all on its own.
The 'HOW' Money and Family Finance Strategies I have been working with:
  • Making a Monthly Budget Ledger
  • Writing out a Family Financial Statement
  • - Income & Expenses
    - Assets & Liabilities
    - Monthly Cash Flow
  • Making a last will and testament
  • Having all family insurances up to date
  • Following the 3 10% rules on all earnings
  • Allocating funds & balancing bills
  • Retirement growth--putting away little by little
  • Dealing with Debt & Getting out of it!
  • Writing out Family S.M.A.R.T. goals
I have tried to focus on the 'I Can' philosophy with positive statements like "How can I afford...?" Changing the input of my questions into this simple format has helped me to look at the solution as a kind of puzzle, taking time to work it out step by step.

Even though I love to play with numbers, working together with my wife helps us plan our monthly finances and balance the money and family challenges we face with our growing family.

Dads keep coming back to this page as we add specific details to each of these strategies to help you & your family to continue to grow financially.

Corner Basics--Tip #3: Schedule Dates With Your Kids
I am not sure about you guys but I find that I am tough on my boys and sometimes a bit of a 'pushover' for my girl. Fathers & sons as well as father & daughter relationships grow and strengthen every time that we have a one on one time with each child. Building this quality time together I believe is a key, and it doesn't matter if you go grocery shopping, build Lego cars or bake cookies together--incredible & immediate results!

Dads, spend time together to connect with your boy and connect with your girl. Take each one out on a date, just the two of you. Schedule a lunch date with your kids at their school. Dads, we need to take out our planner and put our kids into our schedule just like a business meeting. Try monthly dates with each of your children for the next 3 months.

I believe that dads anywhere, for 90 days...You Can Do It!

Trust me on this one, this will work wonders at building your relationships at home, and your colleagues will love watching a family man in action.

Is there a difference? Should there be a difference how fathers deal with boys and how fathers deal with girls? The short answer is Yes.

Check back for a 'Kids Survey' to use with your kids and get their ideas on how you are doing as their dad. Let's walk together searching, observing, brainstorming and being creative on ways to better connect with our kids.

Corner Basics--#4: Men's Fitness For Dads
I want to encourage you on the benefits of mens health and mens fitness for increasing & maximizing your productivity and effectiveness at both of your jobs. That's right guys, we have 2 jobs and loads of responsibilities. My 2 full time jobs are my family and the office--and I work at keeping the priorities in that order.

Our fitness and health is important for our families as well for our work. My goal here is to help you save your time and money by eating 'as right as we can', keeping a healthy lifestyle and working out effectively to keep fit. As my family has continued to grow it has been a real challenge getting into a healthy balanced exercise schedule.

Guys, it does not take a lot of time. Can you find 20 minutes in your day?

Dads, Could you 'hunt' for 20 minutes in your day?

I know you can, 20 minutes of exercise will recharge you, relieve stress levels and allow you to refocus and increase your on the job productivity. We will learn about calories, food, keeping fit, sleep & recovery, slimming down and keeping some of our excess weight off. Let's journey together.

Corner Basics--Tip #5: Balancing Home Work & Family
We are Buskers, non-stop street performers in action every day without any breaks. It is a balancing act between our home, work and family life responsibilities and expectations. I feel like being a Dad today with all of its highs and lows is a real challenging acrobatic balancing act.

Dads, keep work at work. I have brought work home and I have learned in the last few years how not to bring it home. Keeping fit, focused and goal oriented allows us to accomplish our work on a tight schedule during the work day. Believing it can be done is really half the battle, no more 'I'll just finish it at home'. It can wait. If not, we need to re-prioritize how we are spending our 'work' time and get more efficient and 'on task'. I have tried it and it is worth it. I will admit that for me it's a daily decision process and when I slip up a bit I just dust myself off and work at it again.

Balancing life and work can certainly get a bit tricky, my role at both home and work needs to fit seamlessly in with my priorities of life.

I would break down my priorities of life in this order:1. God,2. Family,3. Church, Friends & Work Your priorities may be different than mine but we need to think about how each of our decisions affect our relationships in each of these priorities. Asking the simple question "How will this decision affect my relationship with God", with my wife, my kids, my church and friends, and my work, helps gauge the impact & importance of each decision I have to make.

Home and work and life balance isn't easy--let's support each other!

Corner Basics--Tip #6: Tools Of The Trade
I thought this would be a nice section to really get into some of the basic tools of the trade, tools that we really need for plying our trade of just being Dad around the house and for in our home.

Our 'Dad tools' are more than just a hammer and nails, though they are very helpful with little home 'fix-it' tasks & projects. It is also about being the man, husband and father that God intended for us to be. Stu Weber paints it so wonderfully in his book 'Four Pillars Of A Man's Heart'.
We must take on each of these four relationship roles of being:
  • A Servant King,
  • A Tender Warrior,
  • A Wise Mentor and
  • A Faithful Friend to our family.
Keep on building up your Tool-chest with:
  • The Secret To Daily Power, Patience & Purpose -- personal quiet time reading from the best selling non-fiction book of all time, the Holy Bible. It really doesn't matter which translation you get started with, a great easy start for a balanced and charged day is 5 Psalms from the book of Psalms to learn how to live with God the Father followed by 1 chapter from the book of Proverbs to learn and apply how to live with your fellow man. I like reading these 6 chapters early in the morning during my quiet time. Reading them in order lets me get through both of these books of God's wisdom in a month.

  • Become A Mentor In Training -- mentoring is a great opportunity you can take with your own kids to lead by example. Involving your activities with your children provides a great role model of being a man for your sons and daughters. Keep your own expectations high but when I mess up, I still need to ask forgiveness quickly.

  • Being Mr. Fix-It! or at least Mr. I'll-Try-To-Fix-It-Until-I-Need-A-Handyman. All kinds of things will need your attention around the house for fixing and tinkering from shelves, closet doors, kids cupboards, toys & changing batteries. Include your kids when you fix up stuff. You won't believe the kind of 'Hero' you are to your boy and girl when you put new batteries into a toy--all we need as dads is a small screwdriver and some new replacement batteries.

  • Filling Up Your Tools Tool-chest -- there are lots of different tools from glue, hammers, screwdrivers, sanders to spare parts that you can gradually build up your tools tool-chest for different fixing tasks and projects around your home. I'll post some simple tasks and what you need for them. Check back often as we journey together.

  • Saving Time & Money -- getting spare parts delivered to your door and downloading instruction manuals & technical manuals has never been so easy as it is today with online resources, manuals and easy accessibility to Do-It-Yourself hints, tricks and video teaching straight from the professionals. These are great resources to access and I will share with you walking through this maze of information.

  • 'Workshop' Time -- I love going into my workshop to fix up different things that need fixing, but sometimes my 'workshop' has been the kitchen table for re-gluing a drawer whose 'bottom' fell out from my son's chest of drawers. Kids love to see and help their Dad any way they can. A great one-on-one activity that always builds up your relationship with them--don't forget to converse with them while you work. Collections of Nuts & bolts, sanders and drill presses will probably need a fixed location in your workshop, my basement workshop room works great for the bigger jobs. I will add listings of tools and machines that I really think are great for a variety of fix ups that anyone can do. I personally prefer professionals for laying a new floor or bigger plumbing work. My Dad(my kids' Opa) was a great example while I grew up as the ultimate Do-It-Yourself. He would research it, learn it & then do it. Many a Saturday was spent with my father visiting Canadian Tire for little things we needed to get for a specific job to complete at home. What great value I learned through all those years of responsibility and value in action

  • Making Projects For Your Wife & Kids -- what a great way to build up your family relationships and at the same time get some new workshop toys and tools. I have to be honest I do love getting some new toys to use for a project I have thought up in my head. Making the time to follow through with it is usually the challenge I face with our 5 little kids at home. I'm sure it's a challenge for most dads.

  • Get A Hobby Man! -- Keep a hobby that doesn't make you disappear from the family, a workshop needs to be accessible, building model cars & airplanes can be done on the dining room table, painting could be done on an easel in the living room and sorting through stamp, coin & bottle cap collections can be done in plain sight at the kitchen table. Keep yourself available and in the presence of your family as much as you can. Sorry guys, gambling, drinking, viewing questionable website pictures and going to strip clubs are not hobbies that keep healthy family relationships. Choose wisely how you decide to spend your 'free' time. There are a lot of distractions & temptations working against us and our families.

Working with your hands, building a do-it-yourself project and fixing odds and ends around the home has incredible value, and brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that feels really great.

It can work out cheaper than hiring a professional at times, sometimes it will be hassle free and at other times too much of a hassle. I can only encourage you to give it a try and have your kids participate a bit with you--they will love it and learn with you. You are already their HERO.

Check back as I add and add and add through this page.

Corner Basics--Tip #7: Quotes To Encourage & Inspire
As men and Dads, we need motivation, encouragement and inspiration every week. I actually feel like I am needing it every day.

I am going to share with you quotes for success, organization, some will just be funny humor or family quotes and leadership quotes for the family man. Some quotes will be to build up your confidence, self esteem, self improvement, getting better day by day, increasing productivity, building teamwork at home and work, strengthening your belief and further developing the I can and 'You can do it' positive attitude. I have used quotes every day that I have been teaching in the classroom for more than a decade now and I have had days the focus on that one quote has given me that little bit extra wisdom to help me through the day.

I will also compile some ideas of little things you can do every day with your sons, with your daughters and with your wife to show your love, care and their importance in your life. Check back often and get encouraged, lift up your spirits and I hope that I can help you to brighten up your day.

Have an awesome day! ...and As I Always Like To Say:

"I believe in You! and You Can Do It!"

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