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Survival Mode

Some times the best we can do is keep them alive.

I won’t sugar coat it: Parenting can be really hard at times. The little ones don’t understand what it means that you didn’t get enough sleep last night or have been stressed over work and finances. They can’t relate to how you feel when your car won’t start and your already 20 minutes late. Some times we go in to “survival mode” and all we can do is make sure they are safe and entertained. The play dates stop, the adventures outdoors are on hold and cartoons or video games go from a few minutes here and there to several hours at a time.


There is nothing wrong with survival mode in and of itself but it becomes unhealthy for both you and your children when it becomes “the norm”. We’ve been living like this for almost a year now because of my work schedule (60+ hours a week between 2 jobs) and daily feel the pressure of piling responsibilities and deadlines. It’s easy to feel like there is no way out but we can finally see a light at the end. It’s taken a lot of planning, a lot of adjusting, a lot of patience and a lot of communication with my wife and kids but we’ve made it work.

The root of the strain on my family goes back to me over-commuting to clients and taking on to many problems. In an attempt to provide for my family I’ve actually put more weight on them. I’m not the only parent to take on to much in an attempt to make life easier for his family and I definitely won’t be the last but that is no excuse to continue to live like this. In those seasons where there is just to much on your plate it’s important to talk with your spouse and figure out where you can make daily time for each other and your children. We provide best for our families with our engaged presence.

What does “survival mode” look like to you? How do you get out of it?

Sean Leacy

Christ follower, husband & father. Geek extraordinaire, SysAdmin & avid outdoorsman. I love to lead worship & write. #DadLife #RedeemingFatherhood