Balancing my profession as a pro soccer player and my role as a husband and father is a never-ending juggle. There has never been a solution or a time when I’ve thought I’ve gotten it down perfectly. My wife and I reevaluate this on a day-to-day basis.
Having three kids under the age of 4 is a non-stop job. They need their parents for everything they do. My wife, Taylor, is phenomenal — always so responsive, intentional and caring with them. She loves me and loves our children so well. I, as a father and husband, also have a huge role to play in the home. My favorite thing in the world is to be home with my family.
My schedule allows me to be home by noon every day with them if I want, and I’m so grateful for this flexibility, but I also know that if I want to be the best I can be in my sport, I need to put in extra work. The questions that arise are, “Should I go swimming at the pool and throw the kids in the water on gameday, or save my energy?” “Should I spend time with my family or get rehab and put in more training today?” “Do I take a nap or go to bed early today to make sure I get the rest I need?” Every day we have to make the decision of what to do that day.
My default is to take care of myself less, in terms of my soccer career, and be at home more as “dad.” My wife often is the one to push me to stay later and train, or go take a nap to refresh when I’m exhausted.
My main goal is for all I do to be done for the glory of God. My wife and I are constantly teaching our kids this in everything we do. Whether we are playing with playdough, sand or our siblings, we enjoy it as much as we can for the glory of God. I try to mirror this in my pursuit of them as a dad and my wife as her husband. I’m committed to each one of them 100 percent. But I also aim to model this in my profession.
There’s a fine line for parents to balance their duties in the home and at work. We see examples of parents neglecting one or the other for the detriment of their families as a whole. In every area of our lives we need to stay vigilant as to not fall short.
As with most things, there often is no clear answer. In everything, we must petition God and pray about what we are to do. The more time I spend in His Word, getting to know Him more, the more the Holy Spirit comes alive in me, leading me through each day so I can make the best decision. Then, I have no guilt or shame in the direction I go.
Because I know that my life is focused on Jesus and who He is, I can be confident in each move I make.
— Ryan Hollingshead, FC Dallas midfielder/defender
Ryan Hollingshead is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Ryan’s Increase profile here.
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