Changing Priorities and Learning How to Help June 2018
Recently, I finished a very busy season at work. Our firm’s other attorney, Rosalie, and I were basically doing the work of three attorneys. I knew I wasn’t being totally present at home — work was constantly on my mind — and I could tell my wife, Ashley, was feeling it too. “You’re working so hard, you’re kind of in another universe,”Ashley confided one day.We had an honest conversation about how I could be more present at home. I listened and knew it was time to refocus my priorities, so we made the decision to bring on a third attorney to Bruce Law. Charles Thompson is our new attorney team member. Ashley shared how happy she was about the change — it was a decision that was best for my family and my firm.
you, but for me, it didn’t come instantly. I had to figure out where and how I could be as helpful to my wife as possible after we first had one, then two little ones at home. Most of the time, it meant communicating with Ashley about what was helpful and listening to what was important to her. We learned how to do tasks together so neither partner felt like they were carrying the weight of raising a child all on their own. For both Ashley and I, becoming parents meant shifting some of our focus from ourselves to our kids. It’s something you have to learn on the fly — there’s no instruction manual, so you figure out what your priorities are and how to make the rest of life fall into place around them. You learn to reprioritize, and it’s challenging at first. You go from having complete control over what to do with your time to it being under the ownership of a tiny human. Ashley and I wanted to be home as much as possible and be involved with Russell and Ruby when they were born, and the only way to do that, we found out, was to give our time to them and make everything else work around their schedules. You’re basically taking what used to be 12- to 15-hour days of work and “me time” and fitting it into 8 or 10 hours.After my kids were born, I shifted my “me time” to the early morning, before the kids were up.While they’re at school, I work so I can be there when they wake up and when they go to sleep. When you’re a kid, there are many rules your parents enforce that don’t make sense. They tell you to be in bed by a certain time, that you can’t play with certain toys, and when you’re a teenager, that you have to be home by a certain time. What’s the deal? Why are they trying to ruin your life? It’s so frustrating when you’re little! Then you become a parent, and you realize there was a reason for just about everything they did. Being a parent doesn’t come with an instruction manual or a university degree; as much as you try, you can’t imagine how much your life will change once you have a kid. It’s wonderful, exciting, and often scary and uncertain. But the rewards are priceless when everything falls into place, and it’s you, your spouse, and your children together.
Ashley takes Ruby on her first pony ride!
As Ashley and I raise our kids, we’ve found out how crucial our communication as a couple is. It’s so important to always ask how the other person is feeling. It may sound simple, but it’s not easy. You have to take the time to show interest and respect for what your partner has to say and how they’re feeling. It goes back to being present for your kids and your partner.
– Chris Bruce
One of the biggest learning curves for me in becoming a better parent was learning how to be helpful — and I’m still learning. It might sound silly, to
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