Labor over this

In many cases, dad remains as the provider for the family. Statistics show that men traditionally make more money than women (which I think we all can agree is unfair), therefore making dad the unofficial breadwinner.

But no matter whether you’re a dad or a mom, there remains the ugly truth that many are workaholics. We put in hours-upon-hours after work, staying late, working on the weekend, all to try and get ahead or impress the boss. So often it doesn’t even result in more pay, just more time away from loved ones.

If you’re a casual sports fan, you may have heard that James Harrison, a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, just retired from football last week. Harrison spent 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and one final season with Cincinnati. He was a great success on the field.

But did you see what he said upon announcing his retirement?

“I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today,” Harrison’s statement said. “My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career.

My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school.”

Harrison is only 36, yet I’ve heard some share these same sentiments at 63. Admittedly, there are some professions where working long hours are part of the business, and most know that when they get into it in the first place.

But imagine how many dads go an entire lifetime focusing more on work than anything, to the neglect of their family. No one on their death beds ever said they wished they had worked more. Work is important in our lives, but do you live to work, or work to live?

Perhaps this Labor Day all dads can take a moment to rest, and do it with family. Your kids don’t want gifts, money, or entertainment – they want your time.