Co-workers were in a bad mood, the customer changed his mind about what he wanted, material wasn’t delivered on time, and I forgot my lunch. I’m tired, hungry, and just flat-out frustrated with how the day went.
All I want is some peace and quiet.
Then I get home. The kids are bouncing off the walls. My wife looks frazzled. The house is wrecked, and we don’t have anything for dinner. This isn’t exactly what I had in mind.
Don’t they understand what kind of day I’ve had? I just want to relax.
So what’s a husband and father to do? How do I make the transition from workplace to home?
THE NEED FOR DECOMPRESSION
Our world is awfully busy. At work, I can get going a hundred miles an hour. I have to delegate, coordinate, assimilate, collaborate, go…go…go.
At the end of the day, whether work has been great or lousy, as I head for home there must be a change. Family life demands a “different” pace. That difference can be completely liberating or restraining depending on my understanding of home.
So what’s the right understanding?
In a nutshell, it’s not all about me. The family is a communion of persons (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2205). My family shouldn’t have to walk around on pins and needles when I walk through the door. I have to decompress, to release the pressure created by the workplace.
A LAP FOR THE FAMILY
Here’s some practical advice a good friend of mine gave me.
At the end of the work day, when I pull into the driveway and get out of the car, I need to do a lap…or two…or three around the car repeating to myself:
“I am responsible for bringing happiness and peace into this home. Regardless of what I might encounter once I walk through that door, that’s my family and I have to show them Christ’s love. Jesus, help me to love them as You love them.”
This ritual gets me into the “right” state of mind. I go into my home to know, love and serve God in the family He gave me.
I don’t ever know what’s going to hit me as I walk through the door, but I can change things suddenly depending on the attitude I walk in with.
Now it is not always happy, it is not always peaceful. I’m a sinner and the application is not always as easy as the concept. However, today I’m at least aware that I must try to make our home a happy, holy place; a place where learning, living, praying, and sacrificing are all treasured and done out of love for God and one another.
For me, the best part of my day begins when this husband and father comes home.
*Picture Copyright of Paramount
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