Let’s Meet – In July, Please

I’ve long prided myself on doing everything anyone asked whenever they asked. Home. Work. Kids’ schools. Around town. Fun. I would get it done quickly.

It’s not a macho man thing.

It’s not a Dad thing.

It’s most likely a growing up without-a-lot thing and not wanting to go back to that.

But whatever the reason, it’s not healthy. It’s not a good example to set. It’s not a model to bring about change around how we work and parent differently.

Recently, in a good way, there’s too much to respond to all of this right away. There’s a lot of good end-of-the-year school stuff. There’s lots of good work and opportunities for more. There’s lots of good time with my wife and daughters.

There’s just not lots of empty blocks of time to take on any more of any of it right now.

So this weekend, instead of trying to squeeze more things in, I decided to reply to a pile of emails asking if we could talk in July.

I’ve been waiting to reply to some of them for weeks. I’m one of those weirdos who dreams of having zero unread emails in my inbox, a goal that I’ve rarely accomplished. The number of unreads has accumulated to a level that was causing me stress.

So I punted. I asked to talk in July, without going into what I’ve got between now and then. Not a crazy ask. Any working parent with kids in school, particularly kids approaching milestones this spring, knows that May and June are brutal months for swaying between parenting and working.

Still, what kind of jerk am I to say, let’s talk in two months?

But on Sunday morning, before anyone else was awake, I started banging out the emails asking for July times to talk.

I didn’t feel relief.

I didn’t feel regret.

I felt respect – for the time I would have with the people I would talk to in July, for all the people I’m scheduled to talk to between now and then, for my wife who I want to spend time with, and for our children (and their classmates) who have a slew of important end-of-year events for them.

I’m not shoehorning anyone in. I’m creating time so I can devote my full attention to those July calls.

How have other working parents handled the end of the year school crunch at work and at home?