Tade looked at the picture frame on his desk. It was the picture of his wife smiling lovingly into his eyes and that of his three kids staring adoringly at both of them. That seemed like such a long time ago? At work, he was a star but with his family, there was no flicker of a flame. How did things get so bad?
It was one of those hectic days in the office but Tade was okay with it. He was in his elements when the pressure was on. He thrived in his ability to create order out of chaos. However, he only felt this way when he was in the office. Home was a different ball game altogether. It was like the place that was supposed to be his place of zen and peace was the place he felt least peaceful.
“I don’t get it” he complained to his friend Lanre. “How am I able to be so good at my job and be a lousy husband and father? I am the top dog here, I control over 20people and yet with just a woman and 3 little kids, I keep floundering?” Lanre smiled. Thankfully, he had been down that road. “Tade, you used the word ‘control’. I think that’s the first error. Your family are not the people that you should control”. Tade shook his head. “So how am I supposed to keep them in line? I’m head of the home, I should be able to say a thing and it would mean something. When I give an instruction, I expect my wife and kids to carry it out afterall, I provide all their needs!” he shouted.
“Mr. Tade, what is the matter?” one of his subordinates asked, poking his head in through the open office door. “Nothing!” he shouted, closing the door in annoyance. That was a new behaviour for him. He was normally cool and calm. It’s like everything was conspiring against him these days. He could not keep his temper in check. Every morning before he leaves for the office, there seems to be a silent war with his wife and a bigger battle with his children – the biggest being with Gbolahan his 15years old son. “What am I doing wrong? I don’t want to be a success in business and a failure with my family. I don’t want to stand before God and start stammering when He tells me to give account of my family”.
Lanre laughed at that description even though he knew it was true. He really could relate. “First things first, let me ask you some questions and you have to be honest with the answers. Starting with your wife – when was the last time you spent some time alone with her? When was the last time you complimented her – do you even notice how she looks these days? Gbolahan is most likely going through hormonal changes, are you available when he wishes to speak with you? When was the last time you spent time with your family and not just on Sundays when you all sit in the car for the drive to and fro church?”
Tade sat down in silence, contemplating what his friend was saying. He spent a lot of time in the office especially since his rapid successive promotions. His work load had tripled and he had to manage the over 20people in his staff. He opened the office door long enough to notice his subordinates leaving the office one by one. A few of them waved good bye at him but the majority of them left without saying a word. Everyone of them was leaving to go and meet their families, if he no longer had a family, who will he go back home to? He did not need a soothsayer to tell him what he was already loosing.
Family will long be there after the work, after the gym buddies, after the night clubbing or in his case, the church activities. He did not need to be a boss at home, he needed to be a husband and a father. Are you having challenges managing your work and home? Share with us those unique challenges you are facing, we may have the answers for you. Perhaps you have surmounted such challenges, we would also love to hear from you.