Having children changes anyone. Hopefully it does, anyway. I know it did change me. My wife and I were married for five years before we had children, which I think we both are glad we did. Getting to know your spouse is quite important. Having that time to work on your relationship before you introduce any rug rats, in our opinion, made it easier later for us.
We do all the mundane, architect-y stuff with our kids. They had their share of building blocks and Legos growing up. We yammer on about cool building details when we see them (and they call us nerds). And our kids have been on more than their fair share of architectural tours. We told the kids we are going to Niagara Falls, which of course we did. What we didn’t tell them is that we would be stopping in Buffalo for a couple days and, oh yeah, Frank Lloyd Wright has a few buildings to check out. We went to the Smokey Mountains and, oh yeah, there’s this house we need to see called Biltmore. Now they know better, that there is at least one architecture tour per vacation. But more so than this kind of stuff, being an architect has a lot of the same challenges to home life as other jobs, and maybe just a few unique challenges.
Having kids made me look at the balance in our lives. Life can’t be 99% work and 1% “the rest”. Before kids, that balance was difficult to strike. Kids can have a grounding effect. There is no getting around the fact that this business means some long hours. So does parenting.
|Sometimes it works out for them. They got to swim in the Montreal Olympic Stadium.|
In my career, I also lost my way in taking care of myself. Over the years, bad eating habits and lack of exercise packed on the weight. Having kids makes you think about sticking around as long as you can for them. Last year, I made a commitment to myself (but also still for the family) to take better care of myself. I started a better eating program and I hold two nights a week sacred for working out. I can be flexible with the days but not with the number of days per week. It has paid off, and after losing over fifty pounds, I essentially look at that as more time of better quality that I can spend with the three people I don’t want to be without.
Cue the sappy Brady Bunch interlude music.
|That is one sweet T-Square.|
This post is a special Father’s Day Edition of the ArchiTalks series where a group of us (architects who also blog, who are also dads) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. This edition was led by Brian Paletz. A lot of other talented writers who also are architects (and dads) are listed below and are worth checking out:
–>Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
#Archidad – A modern approach
–>Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
Happy Fathers Day #archidads
–>Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
The Dad — The Architect
–>Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Life as an Archidad
–>Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
–>Larry Lucas – Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
A Daddy Architects Work Life Blur and My Escape
–>Steve Mouzon – The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
Fathers Day for Architects – The Empty Seat
–>Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
ArchiDad on Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day everyone!