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"It's impossible to go a full day without seeing my Say-Say." - Fraz Ahmed, About his daughter, Salem
Jax Daily Record Monday, Mar. 14, 201612:00 PM EST

Bar Bulletin: The sweet face that shapes a father's priorities

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by: Fraz Ahmed

I am currently sitting in Courtroom 602 of the Duval County Courthouse, trying a five-day jury trial in front of Circuit Judge Virginia Norton.

We are on our lunch break. A few minutes ago, at 11:59 a.m., I received a friendly email reminder from Cyndy Trimmer, notifying me that my JBA Board of Governors article is due today.

Generally, when I hear the words “due today,” my heart sinks into the deep pits of my ever-expanding stomach.

Yes, I completely forgot that I was supposed to write the JBA article this month.

Is this the last time I’ll ever forget to do something? Absolutely not.

My wife, Lindsay Tygart, wrote an article not too long ago about achieving work-life balance.

For many of us, we have our kids. We have our wives or significant others. We have our work. We have our parents and siblings. We have our friends. Last, and always least, we have our own personal lives.

What I would be interested to know is how this list is prioritized for each of you.

Certainly, not all of these categories are mutually exclusive. Do we have to prioritize? Can this elusive idea of work-life balance be achieved?

I’ve decided to write this article from the dad’s perspective. I want to reach out to my fellow dads because we truly have a lot on our plates.

Although we like to consider ourselves super dads, able to do anything, we are human and we make mistakes. All we ask is that our wives or significant others forgive us.

And dads, let’s also remember to forgive our significant others.

As much as we may be unwilling to accept it, they probably have more on their plates than we do. It takes teamwork to divide and conquer this thing called life. We cannot do it on our own.

There will be times when it gets to a point where you may have too many balls in the air and one of those balls drops and hits the ground. It’s happened to me.

We all seem to dwell on the fact the ball fell, but it doesn’t matter that the ball fell, what matters is how quickly we pick it up.

When you need help, ask for it.

This whole week, my wife has been taking care of my daughter, Salem, in the evenings and putting her to bed.

Although she also offered to wake up early with Salem, I refused to allow that, partly because my wife shouldn’t have to do it all by herself just because of my schedule. We are a team.

The other reason I refused was because it’s impossible to go a full day without seeing my Say-Say. Whenever I see her, all the stress, worries and problems just seem to go away.

Before our Salem entered our lives, I shrugged off the idea of work-life balance, but now I am all in.

I refuse to let my work be my life. My family defines my life. Dads, without them, we are nothing.

It is now 8:23 p.m. and I am writing the remainder of this article from my office.

I have done the necessary trial prep for tomorrow and it’s time to get back to this article.

As I am sitting here, I am thinking what my work-life balance is going to be over the next few days. I told my wife I would be home by 9 p.m. I plan on calling my mom on the way home.

As for tomorrow, I have every intention of waking up early with my daughter before I head off to court.

My wife and I will have date night Friday or Saturday evening and the remainder of the weekend, I plan on spending some time with Salem and our friends.

Sunday afternoon, I will probably spend a few hours getting ready for the upcoming week.

Regardless of how busy we are, work-life balance can be achieved. It’s just a matter of wanting it and doing what it takes to get it.

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