I have heard insanity be defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. For too many of our years spent as parents, the word insanity could correctly define our lives. We had an idea of what we wanted our house to be like, but nothing about our behavior or parenting techniques changed. As a result, we repeatedly lived our mistakes over and over and over. In fact, one of the easiest things in the world is to become content in your misery and we exemplified that.
Somewhere along the lines, my wife and I had that “Ah Ha” moment when things clicked and we realized that in order to have the family that we wanted, we had to make whatever changes were necessary. I have no desire for my family to turn out like a “normal” family by the world’s standards. I do not expect my children to turn into the rebellious teenagers that our TV shows portray. My wife and I can have an incredible marriage that is full of passion and friendship, a decade after our wedding date.
In order for this to happen, old habits had to die. We had to stop parking ourselves in front of the TV for hours a day, making the kids keep quiet so we could watch our favorite show. For a dad who has two sons named after Hall of Fame pitchers, I learned that an afternoon with my kids was more important than the game on TV. Family game/movie/reading nights replaced the constant phrase, “KIDS BE QUIET!”
My family is far from perfect and we are still learning our way through things. The awesome thing is that a lifestyle change can get addicting. The more time we spend with our kids, the more we want to spend with our kids. We have learned to truly value what is really important, and lay down the stuff we filled our lives with that only take up time that should be spent with our kids.