Harman Law - May/June 2020

May/June 2020



Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and Employment Lawyers


How Living With 3 Toddlers 24/7 Helped Me Grow as a Dad

Do you remember the video that went viral on Facebook a few years back of a dad doing a BBC interview? At first, things seem normal — the guy is wearing a nice suit and tie and speaking very professionally. But it isn’t long before a toddler in a bright yellow sweater boogies into the room behind him, followed by a baby scooting along in a walker. Moments later, his wife charges in, scoops up the kids, and hustles them out of the room, but not before everyone at the BBC (and later, everyone on the internet) has a good laugh at the man’s expense. That “Dad, Interrupted” video is the perfect description of my life during social distancing. Luckily I don’t have to do many video chats, but

I’ve started to preface every single call with an apology, saying, “There’s no way around it, you will hear kids in the background. With the dog, the cat, and three toddlers, I just have a lot of mammals in my house right now.” Thankfully, you have been endlessly patient with me through all of the pandemic craziness, and I haven’t gotten anything but laughter and understanding in response! I hope that by the time you get this newsletter, these social distancing restrictions are lifted. As I’m writing this, things are still far from normal. That said, because I’ve been spending so much more time with my kids, I have had one “normal” thing

“Practically every hour, I move to a different room in the house to take phone calls, playing musical chairs to avoid the noise.”

I can’t count the number of phone calls that have been derailed when one or two of our toddlers came hurtling into the room, screaming hysterically. I always go for the mute button but, of course, never get there in time. With my wife Jen and I both working from home, our house has turned into one big game of hide-and-seek with Emerson, Nolan, and Miles. Don’t get me wrong — I love being able to spend more time with my kids (and Jen and I lucked out because my mom still helps us with child care), but their constant attention makes working difficult. Practically every hour, I move to a different room in the house to take phone calls, playing musical chairs to avoid the noise. If the kids are upstairs, I move downstairs and vice versa. Once, when things were particularly chaotic and I had nowhere else to go, I even ended up in the garage! I thought I finally had things figured out, and for the first five minutes, the call was blissfully quiet. Then, of course, my neighbor’s lawn mowing service showed up and kicked on their commercial-grade equipment. My effort to escape the noisy kids backfired big time!

on my mind: Father’s Day. Becoming a dad in triplicate changed everything about my life — overnight, my whole world shifted from being all about my work and faith to being all about my kids. Now, this pandemic has changed things again, bringing me, Jen, and the kids closer than ever. It’s been challenging, of course, but it has also been a great adventure and a real test of my capabilities as a dad. Overall, I think I’ve been doing pretty well, even though I’ve had to scoop up an armload of toddler every once in a while and book it out of the room, just like the mom on the “Dad, Interrupted” video. Through all of this chaos, my family has been my rock, and I’m looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day with them this summer, whatever life might look like then. I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe through this crisis, too. If you’ve been hit hard — specifically, if you were one of the millions of Americans who lost a job this spring — I might be just the guy to help. Check out the rest of this newsletter to find out what I can do for you right now.

Wishing you the best,

–Michael Harman


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