I get a thrill out of sequential tasking.
Not multitasking, where I’m trying to do more than one thing at once.
But sequential tasking, where a day is like parkour, jumping from task to task that are as varied as the cityscapes that serve as the playgrounds for parkour. Kids, work, wife, fun, dogs, hobby. Skip, hop, jump, stretch.
This week I stumbled.
My wife had surgery last week. All good, nothing bad, and she’s well on the way to recovering. But surgery is surgery.
So I took off the days around her surgery. I arranged playdates this weekend to keep our kids in motion so I could tend to her and them.
Then Monday came and I put on my parkour shoes. I started my regular skip, hop and jump as a Lead Dad.
Breakfast went fine. Kids got off to school. On my way back from dropping one off, I picked up coffee for my wife. And then I went up to my home office to start Zooming. Emails, two investor calls, a podcast, and then I came down for lunch. My wife was alone. I could tell she wished I was there chatting with her. The house was empty.
“You’re great at the logistics of our family,” she said. “But sometimes I wish you would just sit.”
I didn’t protest. Enumerating all the times I sat still seemed like some guy, well, focused on the logistics!
After lunch, back up to my home office. An interview for a Lead Dad of the Week feature, a product call, a video conference about an even t in the spring. Kids off the bus, with two headed for allergy shots, and then two others meeting with their tutors. Dinner!
Did I mention our 20-pound Schnauzer was on a high dose of pain meds? He got in the middle of his two 90-pound dog sisters roughhousing.
My wife wasn’t wrong. I had the logistics down. But what she needed was a friend to be on her schedule. She was healing. She was British Royals binging: Netflix, 60 MINUTES, The Crown – “Spare” came out on this week! I was parkouring.
But what I just described was only Monday. The week continued to be challenging. An old cat my father has is dying. My oldest daughter won her basketball game. My middle daughter had a choir concert. My youngest daughter got sick!
Like every founder, I am laser-focused on building The Company of Dads as quickly as I can. Unlike other founders, I know I can’t ever do this at the expense of my family. I wouldn’t want to be that type of Lead Dad; it would also be absurdly hypocritical.
This week I was great at the first part of being a Lead Dad – as the go-to parent who has home and work in order – but I was semi-oblivious to the second part, the sitting and being and understanding that my wife probably didn’t want to watch The Crown and Harry & Meghan back to back to back.
I screwed up. That’s it. I hope to learn from it.