Working Parents: The TenHaken Family
● By Digital Media Director
Paul and Jill
Kids: Jade (13), Max (10) and Nora (6)
What is your job title?
Mayor of Sioux Falls
1. What is a typical day like in your home?
I get up around 4:30 each day and workout – either at the gym, running, swimming, cycling, or yoga. I then try to spend some time in devotions and prayer before rolling my kids out of bed. One thing I have been very intentional about is trying to bring my kids to school each day. That is a special time that I enjoy each morning. After work I am greeted with all the regular “dad life” duties – homework, dinner, ensuring my kids have bathed in the past week, and just enjoying time with them.
2. As a working parent, how do you juggle a busy schedule?
We try to schedule our kids’ extracurricular activities on different nights. Our kids are only involved in a couple activities at a time so that helps. I also put blocks on my calendar to protect the times when they have important things I simply can’t miss. When I look back on life in ten years, I don’t want to regret being an absent father at the expense of the mayor’s office.
3. What do you find to be the most challenging?
Like any working parent, the demand between home life and work life is a constant tension. I think my generation does a good job at finding balance and keep perspective on the role work plays in the balance between mind, body, and soul.
4. What's your trick to stay organized?
A master family Google calendar. Two calendars are worse than none. We have also started ordering groceries online, which my wife will say has changed her life.
5. What tips do you have for other busy working families?
Do your best for your kids, and don’t beat yourself up if you fall short sometimes. Kids will give you plenty of grace. Faith, family, work is a mantra I live by and try to prioritize my life accordingly.
6. How do you find time for yourself?
Honestly, one of the most impactful life changes I ever made was going to bed two hours earlier so I could get up two hours earlier. That 4:30-6:30AM time each weekday is very precious to me and gives me time to invest in myself.
7. How do you plan your days/weeks?
We usually take one week at a time. The flexibility of Jill’s schedule allows us to tackle the priorities. We have certain rhythms of life that we follow, including worship and family time on Sundays which allows us to reset each week.
8. How might you motivate other working families?
Always remember, you can be replaced in your job, but you can’t be replaced as a father or mother. Put the screens away and be present with your kids whenever you can.