Lately, I’ve been wrestling with how to use my time after work. On a typical weeknight, I have around 5-6 hours to work with. During this short period of time, I have many things vying for my attention. There is my wife, my three young children, an endless list of chores, and a few hobbies I’m trying to nurture. Oh, and packing my lunch, exercising some nights, and meditation/spiritual time.

I’m trying to figure out the best way to use this time. I hear kids grow up fast. My oldest is five, and my youngest is almost two. I don’t want to waste this time. I want it to count. I want to look back on my life, and not regret how I spent time during this stage of my life.

So, I have 5-6 hours to work with. Of that 5 or 6, I only have 3 hours before my kids go to bed. On a typical weeknight, I only have around 3 hours to spend with my kids! It doesn’t seem like much, does it? And I think that is why I am so afraid of wasting it. I don’t have much time to spend with my kids. And the time I do have, it will go fast.

The chores I have to get done are important. Filing taxes. Paying bills. Planning the kids’ birthday parties. Spraying ant repellant around the house.

And my hobbies help keep me level-headed. They are a positive outlet for the stresses of life. And exercise and meditation keep me healthy.

But maybe those things can wait. Maybe it’s okay if I don’t get as many chores done some nights. Maybe missing a night here or there playing guitar isn’t the worst thing.

Maybe those things just need to wait until after bedtime. Even though I’m tired by that point. Even though some nights, I just want to kiss my kids goodnight and crash.

I think I want to focus on those first three hours after I get home from work investing in my kids. Reading them books. Playing pokemon cards. Riding down the slide at the playground.

This will be a journey for me. I won’t always make the best choices. Sometimes I will have to skip reading another book so I can work on something else. But I am going to try to be more intentional with my time after work.

If you’re a friend, or someone I see from time to time, feel free to ask me how this is going.

What are your thoughts? Do any of you struggle with this?