–Ocholi Okutepa, Esq.
My father once asked me, “what am I labouring for if not for my children?”, good question but often a lie laden cliche for most men. Most have lost track because they value all the pursue above all they should value.
We unfortunately come to the point where our pursuit of life, career goals or money becomes the very foundation on which we damage the relationships we should hold dear. Striking a balance therefore becomes a major thing to think about.
I am particularly in a profession where becoming mean and out of touch with basic human emotion is not just a possibility but a daily reality that lawyers fall for. You see hardened criminals, cold blooded people stand day in day out in court. You endure the sentence of death passed on the living, watch weeping spouses, go through divorce proceedings and everything that should not be normal comes so frequently that you may become numb at heart.
So that if you don’t drop the madness of your job, you take it home and wonder why your partner is “so emotional” and at other times wonder “why they are not grateful”, comparing them to the abnormal scenarios you see on the job.
It takes me back to my father’s question. What exactly am I chasing if I in the process make a mess of the one relationship that should abide with me? Should my children like most wonder what their father has become? Should our spouses regret coming into our lives because we are lost in the pursuit of things and barely aware that we are damaging the union?
If you fail at family, you failed at your place of primary assignment. So, succeed all you can but make sure your partner and children are not betrayed by your focus on what you pursue.
Make time for them. Plan vacations with them. It is not just about money but time together, emotional connection, ability to open up one to another and do life together.
Don’t drive your partner crazily into seeking attention and affection outside you. Don’t disconnect so much from your children that they consider you as academic sponsor not parent. Don’t loose sight of the health of your home.
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