Putting Family First
by: Joyce Moseley Pierce
I once knew a man who spent his life working and trying to
provide for his family. More than anything, he wanted to be successful. In
his mind, that meant making a lot of money and having material things to
show for it - nice house, new car, expensive suits, cash in hand.
Because he worked all the time, he rarely had time for his
family, and when he was home, he carried the pressures of the job with him.
He didn't have much to say, but he could lose his temper without warning and
send his children running to their rooms. To escape reality, he sat in front
of the television every night and lived someone else's life.
When things didn't go his way, he'd complain about how
ungrateful everyone was. After all, he was working hard to give them
everything they needed, wasn't he? It sure wasn't that he enjoyed working.
He wanted to be home with his family, but in trying to give them everything
he missed as a child, he had to work. Why couldn't everyone see that?
Years later he lost the job he'd had while his children were
growing up. These empty days gave him time to think and when he thought
about everything he'd given for that job, he was mad. He was mad at the
company, and he was mad at himself for being such a fool. He thought of all
the things he had missed with his family. Birthday parties, games,
activities, and just time. For years he felt he was making sacrifices for
his family; now he realized that he had actually sacrificed his family. In
his absence, he had lost their affection and they had basically learned to
live without him. If he could have gone back in time and done things
differently, he would have gladly done it, but unfortunately, the past is
over and gone, and the only time we have to make changes is today.
Little children are forgiving and if you recognize that
you've made some decisions that aren't good for your family, then do
something about it today. You won't change overnight, but by putting your
family first, you will begin to see a change in attitudes all around. If
your children are grown, it may take more than a simple apology and vow to
do better. You're going to have to show them that you've seen the light and
that you're serious about being there for them.
You may want to pull your family together and tell them what you're feeling.
Tell them you realize you've made some mistakes but you want to make things
right. Let them know you want to be a part of their lives. It will help you
to say the words and it will help them to know that you realize it. When I
was growing up, my father would have died before he ever admitted that he
made a mistake. Unfortunately, he did pass away at the age of 51, and all of
us were left to deal with unresolved issues.
I've always believed that the best work we will ever do is right here in our
own homes. Too many times we seek for the riches of the world when the true
treasures are those little ones who want nothing more than to feel that they
are loved. Years from now your children won't place any value on the gifts
you've given them, but they will remember the time you spent together.
Joyce Moseley Pierce is a freelance writer, publishes the
Family First weekly ezine, and pushes preparedness beyond food storage.
Visit her site,
www.emersonpublications.com to register for the newsletter, to read past
issues, to order her book, "All They'll Need to Know," or just to learn more
about how you can protect your loved ones.