Family and Parenting,  Work

Chuck Your Home Computer. I Dare You.

I received a new laptop yesterday. Prior to that, I haven’t had a working computer at home for almost 2 years.

I raise eyebrows every time I tell people I don’t have a computer at home. They’d ask, “How do you blog?”

“My iPhone”, I answer. In fact, I’m doing it right now (WordPress just updated their IOS app by the way).

“But the screen is tiny!” they remark. Well, that’s the point. I try to make sure computing is as inconvenient as possible so I don’t do too much of it; it’s the same point that brings me to why I’m writing this.

We’re a committed lot, us dads. We make sure to bring home the bacon by being on top of our work. We answer e-mails on the fly, bring unfinished work reports home to complete, messaging colleagues and clients well into dinner time. Why? Because we can. We live such connected lives in this modern age, we’d have to cook up a good excuse to our boss for not doing it.

I got just one really good reason for you to raise with your boss, though – you’re a father.

Since I discovered computers back in 2000, I spent the better part of my young adulthood as a tech geek and a recluse from my own immediate family. In between Quake sessions, creating web sites and tech spending (I was a big proponent of DIY gaming PCs back when Hardwarezone was still an indie outfit), I just never stepped out of my room much, other than to go to work and fetch peanuts to munch on.

I decided to quit bringing work home towards the end of the last decade, in the throes of a very demanding job that required a lot of travel and a nearly corporate support that bordered on 24/7 on-call service. That was about the same time I got married. It was about the same time I found an actual person I would much rather spend time with than my computer. Family 1, Technology 0.

In 2008, that actual person gave birth to another person, and then there were 2 people I would much rather spend time with. More importantly, they wanted to spend time with me too, while all my computers did were overheat and die on me every 2-3 years. Family 2, Technology still kosong.

Fathers undoubtedly have priorities to manage; the lines are constantly blurred whenever it comes to juggling work and family, what with making sure bills are paid and everyone is fed by making sure clients are happy and bosses are satisfied. But think about this: in the minds of our children, we are their priority.

Every day you come home from work, your child will greet you with an enthusiasm unmatched by any other person you have known or will ever know. Every available moment, your child will climb up on you asking to be carried, hugged or kissed. And no one else will feel as comfortable sleeping in your arms at night.

With all that love being offered to you, would you still prefer to sit in front of a computer, finger a tablet, stare at a phone, pay so much attention to a device that isn’t capable of loving you back?

Put it down, dad. Turn it off. Save it for office hours. Someone needs you more.

For all you know, you’ll probably even be able to make some time with your wife in raising the score to Family 3, Technology 0.


  • Pamela Tan

    Love this post! 🙂 I’m the one guilty of being the techgeek in my house. But I usually sacrifice sleep to have my go at the computer, instead of time with the kids. Still, nice little article that’d hit home for most of us! 🙂

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