Parsing Time as a Social Dad


A flurry of recent business travel caused me to miss a lot of time with this little girl over the spring. It’s always the hardest part of being gone.

Perhaps because of her age (1 1/2) or the absences, she insists on enjoying every moment with me. I’m the play guy. The combination makes balancing my work and online life all the more critical.

See, I got one shot at this. Just one shot to be Soleil’s Dad.

I’ll screw up for sure, but the very least I can do is understand that being present for Soleil is my most important job.

Valuing Time and Presence

Smiling Soleil

Time is my most precious resource. I bill by the hour, I parse my day in 15 minute segments.

Nothing is more important than being here for my precious daughter. During the business week, I get up before her, and sometimes I successfully get work done. But from the moment she awakens until we drop her at day care, it’s Daddy time. Similarly, at night it’s Daddy time. Work can wait until she sleeps.

So, social media waits until 9 or the next day… Unless there’s a cute Soleil pic to be shared.

And the weekends are all hers. My only computer time around her is when she watches her boyfriend Elmo or if she’s enjoying one on one time with her Mommy.

Now if I can just conquer the darn smartphone. I’ve taken to turning it off at times, but the kid already knows how to use a touch screen.

I remember when Soleil was born, I could cradle her in my forearm, her head touching my wrist, her feet nestled in my elbow.

Firsts Happen Once

Soleil Becomes a Baseball Fan

She’s gotten big quickly. Soleil chatters all day now — some real words, some not — and is highly active.

When you don’t pay attention you miss things. Things like Soleil holding a baseball for the first time trying to understand the seems, or putting together conjunctive phrases like Daddy’s water.

It’s about presence.

I love giving gifts. It’s my way of showing appreciation.

The greatest gift of all is unconditional time and presence. Love is an empty word without the time investment.

How do you separate fatherhood and online life to make sure you’re doing your best as a Dad?

Whether you’re a Dad or simply have/had a Dad, I hope you have a Happy Father’s Day. Cheers.