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  #1  
Old 10-30-2019, 02:43 AM
Vee3

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The cobbler's children have no shoes.



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I heard Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" on the radio today and realized that I was about 3/4 of the way through it, in real life. I had to get something out of my eye as I was listening to it.

My Son (only child) will be 21 this January. Looking back, I wish I'd invested more time in his upbringing rather than working 60-70 hours a week.
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:47 AM
j.r. guerra in s. texas

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"Looking back, I wish I'd invested more time in his upbringing rather than working 60-70 hours a week." That haunting song by Chapin has brought a tear to many eyes who really listen.

Its never too late to make amends, but you certainly are not alone in that thought. It is sad that so many parents work so hard to make things 'better' for their families, they forget that that just being there for every day events can make a huge difference in their children's lives. When the exhausted parent is home, they are often distracted and unable to participate or help even when there, preparing for the 'next day'. It takes a toll.

My Dad was awesome, able to give advice without it becoming a lecture and by serving as an example. I was lucky enough to work with Dad in the office too and seeing 'Work Dad' vs. 'Home Dad' was a great experience. I don't think Dad had an enemy, he was a friend to all.

Last edited by j.r. guerra in s. texas; 10-31-2019 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:11 AM
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I have heard it said many times amongst the old folks, "I wish that I had spent more time with my family". But I have yet to hear "I wish that I had spent more time at work".


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  #4  
Old 10-30-2019, 07:55 AM
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I guess it is fair to say they are both important. And while family comes first, the work or business is also for family. We all have regrets, there are many with worse regrets than working long hours. I am sure if honest, there are those who regret not working harder and building up a career/business. Dont beat your self up over doing what had to be done.

You can never go back, but; that does not mean changes cannot be made going forward.

Last edited by fourbore; 10-30-2019 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:57 PM
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Remember listening to it with my folks and thinking "not for a long time". Now their gone, my kids are out of the house. Time flew by. Don't mind that as much as the other things that life makes you do when you should be focused on them. Feel like me missed too many moments sometimes.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:26 PM
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Figured I would add my story. In my case I am the son. My biological father left when I was four I am forty seven now. So I never knew him. I have a stepfather that I thought was great till I got away from home and all my mental block broke through and remembered the bad stuff again.

I know you all are good guys. So if you look back you may have sacrificed. But I am sure if you look back and asked your kids. You will find out you were nothing like that song. No sense beating yourself up for the past.

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Old 10-30-2019, 04:49 PM
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I took a new job about 100 miles from home when my son was a sophomore in high school. My wife and I debated and decided we shouldn't move, changing to a new school and taking him from all his friends. So for the last two years of his high school I lived out of a suitcase, leaving home every Monday morning and not returning until Friday night. We moved after he graduated and then he was off to college and graduate school for the next seven years. We did have summers together, but I missed an awful lot of his growing up. Was it a good decision? Who knows. But it is/was lost time, never to be recovered. We have a very good relationship but perhaps it could have been even better.

Doug
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:16 PM
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The first 20 years of out marriage I was in the military and because you don't get rich I worked a second job almost all of the first 15 years. Every time I hear that song it kind of makes me wonder if it was the right thing to do. I think our two kids turned out to be pretty upstanding people and their kids as well and we have good relationships so maybe it wasn't all that bad.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:37 PM
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My wife has a beauty shop she had a young girl take care of him and work with him until time for school and I have a machine shop my son has been with us every day of his life he’s 21 now working with me. He has only stayed overnight one night with his uncle Derek. We hunt together work together. I don’t know if he’s happy with it but I sure am
Don


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Old 10-31-2019, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztarget View Post
Figured I would add my story. In my case I am the son. My biological father left when I was four I am forty seven now. So I never knew him. I have a stepfather that I thought was great till I got away from home and all my mental block broke through and remembered the bad stuff again.

I know you all are good guys. So if you look back you may have sacrificed. But I am sure if you look back and asked your kids. You will find out you were nothing like that song. No sense beating yourself up for the past.
My Dad was a lot different than I am, and my Son is a lot different than I.

Not long after Dad got out of the Navy at the end of WWII, he took a job in aerospace and retired from the same company after working there for 42 years. He worked 8 hrs/day, 5 days/wk and never worked a single day of overtime.

The weekends were our time, and we went camping/hunting nearly every weekend year round from when I was 3 to 14. We also spent time in the garage after he got off work, doing all kinds of gun, machining and electronic projects. He was hard to get along with sometimes and often very hard on me. Unreasonable verbal beat-downs were common. Certainly can't say he neglected me though. We drifted apart quickly when I hit 14, got my first job and started hanging out with with friends.

My Son is high-functioning autistic. My Wife stopped working a regular job after he was born (mutual decision), and home-schooled him all the way through high school. She has a BA in early childhood education, and that helped a lot. We still had to go through a maze of medical, governmental, educational and psychological stuff to figure out how to help our Son though. It was hard, and my Wife took the brunt of it. Thankfully we had the support of other parents and an excellent home-school academy where my Son went to classes 2-3 days/wk.

I had a vasectomy a few years after my Son was born. I just couldn't see how we could handle another child. We wanted more children, but I decided that it would be best for all three of us if we didn't. Looking back, I still think it was the responsible thing to do.

I usually worked two jobs and/or a lot of overtime. I made good money and we (thank God) had good health insurance. Unfortunately, most of my time was spent working and sleeping. And somehow I found time for my hobbies, which I should have let go. That's one point where I kick myself.

My Son (now 20) has a part time job and is going to community college. He gets himself to both on his own (bus & walking). When he was 10, his Mother and I assumed he'd end up on some sort of public assistance, living with us forever. I thank God every day that he's becoming so independent. He's looking forward to going to a university, and is trying to find a better job.

He doesn't have much time for Mom & Dad anymore. He does make time to do something with me once a month or so though. We still go out to the desert and look for snakes or go off-roading, etc. He always makes sure I don't forget to give him his monthly allowance check on such occasions though. Hmmm.....
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:59 AM
j.r. guerra in s. texas

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Vee3, congratulations on you and your wife's efforts to help your son achieve his independence. It appears to be paying off.

Its hard watching your children make decisions that you consider unwise, but we all must learn to trust them to make the right choices. And to learn from their mistakes (as we all do). Learning to "remove our hands off the wheel", so to speak.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:17 AM
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I spent a lot of time with my children and it wasn't a sacrifice at all, instead I enjoyed it thoroughly. Not only did I go to the playground with them almost every other day after work but my wife and I also helped with school and homework.

I have also taught them that working hard is less important than working smart.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:42 PM
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Why the song was a hit back when it was released.
I think it hits every guy hard. It still does!
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:23 PM
scooter22
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I know a lot of friends and family that worked long hours including my FIL Somehow I got hit with a lucky job that allowed me to spend a lot of time weekdays with my son and daughter. Back in 1995 we lost our big contract and layed off 90% of the workers in the state and closed offices including mine. I started looking for a job before I got my pink slip even though there was a smaller contract with sites spread all over.. Then I got a call and they asked me to stay on full time and work from home because of the size of the region I cover. I'm a field service tech so I'm on the road for calls but if there aren't any my time is mine. Plus theres no response time. I call in at 9 and am on until 5 so I got to drop my kids off to school on the way out and many times got back to pick them up before mom got home. Summers were great because they were with me if I was home and many times they'd go on a call with me and it was a adventure for them. We'd stop at all kinds of neat places. Only negative is i'm on every Saturday, my busiest day, so I missed things on that day. I hope this ride continues another 5 years at least into retirement age but I'd probably still work as long as the job is here. They're 28 and 32 now with their own houses. My daughters getting married in November and my son may be right behind her next year or so. Talk about empty wallet. I could use some OT now!

Last edited by scooter22; 10-31-2019 at 05:05 PM. Reason: The Devil made me do it. :)
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:28 AM
matt62
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This song stomped on my heart with both feet.
First of all my name is Roger,,, my sign on, Matt62 is my sons name and his football #. This Christmas Eve it will be 1 year since I pulled him aside and told him that he was going to be 21 this summer and he needed to decide what his dream was and to pursue that dream NOW!... He told me that he wanted to fly,, and that he wanted to join the Air Force. I told him that a local college offered a great aviation program and we would get him there. He said that he always wanted to be a part of something great like the US Air Force. We are leaving tomorrow to travel to Mississippi to see him graduate November 5th in Air Traffic Control. He already holds a degree in Cyber Security. He has worked extremely hard to be able to graduate on time and no wash back. His girlfriend of 5 years became engaged to him one day, and traveled from Mississippi to Alabama the next to be married. We are so proud of his determination and work ethic. My daughter graduated from Ohio University with honors and is an English teacher. She and her fiancée just built a house and will be married this June. I am extremely proud of both of my children... We did spend a lot of time together hunting, fishing riding motorcycles, sports, etc, etc .
But I often reflect back and wonder if it was enough and wish for more.
I really hate this quiet, empty house. Roger
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