Looking for some good news out of Hollywood?
I was encouraged to read the other day about the actor Chris O’Donnell of NCIS: Los Angeles fame.The thirty-nine-year-old actor has been married to his college sweetheart, Caroline, for the last twelve years. They have five children, ranging in age from two through ten.
Chris recently said something that I can genuinely relate to. He told a reporter: “Family is my number one priority. I can’t handle being away that long . . . at the end of the day you see those beautiful kids and nothing else matters.”
From time to time, my role as president of Focus on the Family takes me on the road and away from home. Frankly, it’s a delicate balancing act, trying to be both a good husband and father and a faithful servant to a terrific Christian ministry. The Lord has called me to serve in this capacity. I am not complaining. But there are days when I’d rather be home with Jean and the boys than flying in an airplane to a meeting.
Do you struggle to balance work and family life? There’s the reality of providing for a family—we all have certain obligations—but what if your job takes you out of town on a regular basis? Can you still be a good mom or dad? Of course! I’ve found it helpful to set up some boundaries. Here are a couple of ideas.
For example, when I’m home, I’m home. I try my best to stay off the phone and away from the computer. Also, if I’ve been on the road for a few days, I try, if at all possible, to stay home the day or so after I return. At the very least, I’ll stay home to have breakfast with Jean and the kids and come into the office a few hours later than normal. After one grueling week, our whole family stayed in our pajamas on all day Saturday. We just loafed around and reconnected. It was great!
The late actor Lionel Barrymore once cracked that half the people in Hollywood are dying to be discovered—and the other half are afraid they will be. I’m delighted to learn Chris O’Donnell doesn’t appear to be in either one of those two camps.
But what about you? How do you and your family keep work and personal time in proper perspective?