No Time for Golf?
Today, Leslie Morgan Steiner's On Balance blog and the WSJ's The Juggle blog both covered a recent NY Times story about the decline of golf. Less people (that's essentially less men) are golfing these days because it takes so much time to play. The reaction to this news on 'On Balance' was elation, riding on the assumption that men are valuing time with their families over hours and hours on the golf course (sans cellphone coverage) every weekend. 'The Juggle' just questioned whether other parents report giving up or cutting back on hobbies to be with the kids.
Two thoughts come up for me around this topic. First, if men are driving (pardon the pun) this trend because they truly desire to be at home more than they want to be golfing, we've got a winner. This serves to equalize the childraising domain, and perhaps the housework domain, between moms and dads. A nice tribute to the involved father, and to the quest for ESP.
My second thought is about those who truly love golf and are sad to give it up. Maybe they work 50+ hours a week in high pressure careers, can only really see their kids on weekends, and no longer have time for a hobby. That's unfortunate. We all have only 24 hours in a day, and we can either divide up those hours in a way that makes us feel balanced or we can lead lopsided lives in which we're defined by where we spend most of our energy and time. With ESP, balance is the goal. That means making all aspects of our lives fit proportionally into those 24 hours - downscaling as needed in order to make the math work. ESP parents spend ample time with their kids every week. And because they do, they don't feel guilty heading off for a round of golf on occasion if that is what makes them happy.
With equally shared parenting, balance is achieved in two ways: balance between two parents so that each one had approximately the same amount of time for each domain (breadwinning, childraising, housework, recreation) each week, and balance of the four domains within each individual parent. Golf, at least in moderation, remains a viable option - as long as our partners get an equivalent amount of time for their own passions.