Many responsibilities – Question(s) for Fathers

Too all father’s out there (especially those with large families). How do you manage it all?

How do you balance?

*]Spiritual Leader of Family
*]Spending individual time with each child
*]Paying collage for children (those who want to go)
*]Retirement Planning
*]Caring for Elderly parents
*]Employee (50+ hrs/week)
*]Eating right and getting enough sleep
*]Auto Mechanic
*]Plus (___________ fill in blank)[/LIST]
I am 43 and my lovely wife and I are expecting our fifth child. Right now my faith is being challenged; I am not sure how I am going to keep everyone happy (or at least satisfied).

I know there is not a magic formula. I also really do believe that GOD will not give anyone more than they can handle. But right now I feel out of shape and will struggle to finish this race strong.

For those who are finished with their race, how did you do it? For those who are in the middle of their race, how are you doing?

Thanks and GOD Bless,

Congratulations!! As a father of 5 myself, I suggest prayer, prayer, and oh one more thing, prayer.

Seriously, aside from prayer, much of your list consists of things we don’t necessarily have to deal with every day.

*** Spiritual Leader of Family** - My main worry here is whether my kids will eventually reject what I am trying to teach them. But if you pray with and for your family every day...

*** Husband** - In many ways, the least difficult.

*** Spending individual time with each child **- This is not possible on a daily basis, nor do I think it's necessary. Family, to me, is more than several individual relationships, rather it is relationship with everyone together. This doesn't mean we shouldn't spend time with each of them separately, but these times should be special. Take for example my wife taking our oldest to the city for a day when she turned 12 to have their "mother/daughter" talk. This made the "talk" more meaningful. 

Paying college for children (those who want to go) - I’ll worry about this when the time comes. But heck, I did it myself with student loans. It worked for me, it could work from them.That and scholarships.

Retirement Planning - With 5 kids, the chances of one of them becoming rich only increase. That’s my retirement. :wink: But really, what kind of retirement do we want? Do we want the one the world approves of like traveling the world or playing golf every day? Or do you want to spend it with your grandkids. One lifestyle is a whole lot cheaper and more fulfilling.

Caring for Elderly parents - don’t know about this one. I have 6 brothers and sisters, so it will probably be a joint affair.

Employee (50+ hrs/week) - I absolutely refuse to do this. Family, to me, is far more important.

Eating right and getting enough sleep - OK, so I don’t have the best diet, but heck, I don’t smoke and I rarely drink, so I figure I’m doing fine.

**Auto Mechanic **- only when the need arises, or find a trusted one.
Plumber - see above.
Electrician - Ditto.
Plus (___________ fill in blank)

Not sure if this helps. Everyone’s situation is different, and we all have our own struggles, but what I said to begin with is the key. You need to pray daily.

Dear MHalsey,

Thank you very much for your reply. It means a lot to read your words. I will pray and pray some more (for your family and mine).

Thank you and GOD Bless,


God bless you and your wife and congrats on the newest baby! I am not a man, LOL, but am married to one, LOL again. He is the best father ever! And he grew up without a dad. From what I see this is what he does :

*** Spiritual Leader of Family** - My husband is a convert to the faith. We’ve had a long road. He does the family rosary with us, attends mass, of course, attends men’s nights and conferances (now takes our oldest son with him!), goes to our priest with concerns and questions, and most of all he backs me up! He doesn’t watch garbage on TV or listen to anything questionable on the radio. He also prays with me.

*** Husband** - We make the little things fun. Grocery shopping together with only one or two of the kids, running errands, we’ve even been known to get fast food and eat it in the car b/c we have a sitter at home (usually my parents or our oldest child) and a sleeping baby in the car. We have certain shows that we watch together and LOVE board games. I’m usually the one that falls asleep before we get “our” time :wink: Ecards are great too. Easy and free! :slight_smile:

*** Spending individual time with each child **- Not possible, really. Not necessary, really. If there is one child that is needy at the moment, ok, but honestly it’s just not possible. Our kids are just fine. We do a ton of family stuff, make big deals out of birthdays (often taking the birthday child out to lunch or something alone) but really individual time is not realistic in a big family.

Paying college for children (those who want to go) - Not necessary. My husband used to want to limit our family size to three children all because of college tuition! That’s insane! We are not required to pay for their college. I paid for my college. We have chosen for me to stay at home wtih the kids and we homeschool. Beyond that we will likely not be in a position to help out financially. I just want them to get to heaven and so does he. College might take 5 years instead of four and mean a lot of hard work and loans. That’s OK. It builds charecter. :wink:

Retirement Planning - We have little retirement (just what’s in his 401k) but again we’re not worried about it. God will provide for our needs. And as a PP said - maybe our kids will too. :wink:

Caring for Elderly parents - My parents are still quite young but when the time comes we’ll work something out.

Employee (50+ hrs/week) - My husband does work 50 hours/week but he goes in really early while we’re all still sleeping, LOL. He’s home by 5:30 and we have a family dinner 99% of the time.

Eating right and getting enough sleep - I’m a food fanatic so only allow healthy stuff in the house. Poor husband :wink: He’s a type 1 diabetic and has epilepsy so he has to eat right. Sleep is what we both lack but we drink coffee (not good, I know).

**Auto Mechanic **- My husband is many things but not so much handy. We just pray for good deals and hire it out.
Plumber - see above.
Electrician - Ditto.

I hope it’s OK that I posted to your thread. I just think the world of you hard working fathers. Especially those that care enough to ask questions. Take a deep breath. Trust in God.

I’m past raising mine (4). They are all adults now. When they were growing up, my wife would have them do a basic tidy-up around the house before I was due home. When I walked in the door they were my kids. I saw that they were ready to come to dinner when the food hit the table; I saw that they had homework finished; I saw that the after dinner chores were done; I bathed the little ones and saw that the older ones cleaned up for bed; I did night prayers with them. They were really my kids. They didn’t look to Mom for anything after I got home.
I have had jobs that worked me 56 hr/wk and asked for more. I finally told the boss that he didn’t want to pay for any more than 45 hrs/wk as after 9 hours a day I was making too many mistakes to make it worth while. My wife got a Master’s in HR and confirmed that studies supported my reliability drop off figures.


ekblad7 - Thank you very much for taking time out your busy schedule to explain to me how your husband balances all his responsibilities. He is a very practical and wise man. Someday after all your children have left the house he could write a book.

darfdog - Thank you for explaining how you made it through child rearing years. I will take on more of the children responsibilities when I get home.

What worked for me last night was confiding in a very close catholic buddy of mine. He gave some advice which I thought was very practial.

Spirtual Leader - My buddy like MHalsey said to pray and pray often.

Spending time with each child - he said to seize the moment. If I am headed to Home Depot, take one or two of the kids with me. The littles ones get a kick out of looking at the color samples.

College - Young Adults can live at home and attend a community college for two years and the transfer to a state university. Other options are trade school or military.

I guess I knew what each one of you have been saying, I just needed to hear it.

Thanks and GOD Bless,

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