Too tired when your children need you?
Some months back, we had a guest in our home. When we got home after one of the services, she saw that I looked tired. On getting home, our grandchildren were all over the place playing, until their parents would come to take them to their home many kilometres away from ours.
When we got home, as I stepped into the living room, they started screaming “grand daddy, grand daddy, grand daddy.”
By the way, our grandchildren call me grand-daddy, while they call my wife grand-mummy. I did not want to be called grandpa or my wife grandma; neither did I want to be called baba.
The term “grand-daddy” makes me feel younger and better. So, right from when we had our first grandchild, the whole household kept making him know right from day one that I am grand-daddy while Carol, my wife is grand-mummy. This is the beginning of how all my grand-children started calling me grand-daddy and not grand pa, which many children grow up to know.
But I cannot forget the day one of them, who was then about four-year-old, came to me, looked at my face and said “but you are grandpa.” I said: “Yes, but this grandpa is called grand-daddy.”
Oh! This reminds me of what my secondary school principal said in 1971 or so. He said, “when you are young, you want to look old and when you are old you want to look young.” He then went on to say “this is the irony of existence.”
Anyway, back to my story. As my grandchildren swarmed around me, our highly esteemed visitor told them, “He is tired. Do not disturb him.” I respectfully disregarded our visitor’s sympathy and went on playing and running around with them in our living room for about five minutes. And I really satisfied them after which I wisely vamoosed.
I later explained to our visitor why I spent the quality five minutes playing with them, despite the fact that I needed rest after a hectic schedule. I told her that when we started having children in the eighties, we made it a policy not to tell our children “I am tired,” even though we needed rest.
So, this made our children have access to us at any time. We did not and still do not believe in spending our energy (as ministers of the gospel) to be of service to other people, meeting their spiritual, emotional and physical needs, only to get home to tell the children and other members of the household, “I am tired leave me alone.” It is not fair on your children, your spouse and the entire family. It is not fair at all.
No matter how busy you may be as a bishop, CEO of a big company, president of a country, governor of a state, senator, school principal, teacher, business man, trader, daily paid labourer, etc, it is not okay to have time for your work, for other people, for your goods, for your money, etc and not able to spend some quality time with your children and family members, who will either want to ask you a question or tell you what happened in their school or work place or complain to you about something or just want to be around you.
Children are very sensitive. Some interpret your saying, “I am tired, leave me alone” to mean that you do not love them enough; hence you don’t have time for them.
Therefore, as a parent or guardian, even if you are tired, do not tell them so when they need you. Give them love. Give them time. Love you.