The Father Who Had No Time

- | 78 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Family & Parenting

the father standing with a time clock in hand

Today I’m going to share a story about the father who had no time for his family. Even though the good father wanted to spend maximum time with his family, he was always caught up in other things.

I just thought it had been long since I shared a story, and this seemed just apt. I had read a similar story long back, which made me realize the importance of setting priorities in my life.

You all know how valuable time is for each one of us. More so, the precious time that every father and mother need to spend with their children.

Though the post says – the father, but it’s also meant for mothers who are working and aren’t able to devote enough time for their family and children.

Nevertheless, even those who aren’t parents can relate to the post, especially if they have/had parents who spend or aren’t/weren’t able to spend time with them.

My intention isn’t to make you feel bad or guilty, but to understand the importance of how quality family time makes a difference in everybody’s lives, and to realize  that time flies!

So, without delay, here is a story about the father who wanted to spend quality time with his family, but somehow always landed with no time in hand.

“That is the thankless position of the father in the family – the provider for all, and the enemy of all.” ~ J. August Strindberg

Story About The Father With No Time

Once there was a hardworking father who delivered newspapers as a living to support his family. He had a happy family that consisted of his wife and two kids.

The fathers used to spend the mornings doing his delivering work, while in the evenings he devoted the time attending classes.

He wanted to be a better parent, and did his best to educate and improve himself so that he could one day find a better paying job.

It was only on Sundays, that the busy father ate a meal together with his family, while the rest of the days he worked and studied hard.

The good father did this to provide his family with the best that money could buy. He wanted to give them a life they loved.

Very soon his family started complaining that he wasn’t spending enough time with them. The father reasoned that he was doing all this for their happiness.

But deep in his heart, he too yearned to bond with his family and spend those precious moments of togetherness with them.

Finally, the day came when the examination results were declared. To the father’s surprise, he had passed with distinction, and was soon offered a good job as a supervisor that paid well!

It was almost like a dream come true for the father and his family. He could now afford to provide his family with life’s big and small pleasures like good food, clothes, a house, and vacations abroad too.

However, the family still didn’t get to see the busy father for most of the week. He continued working hard with the hope to be promoted to the position of a manager.

In fact, to make himself a worthy enough candidate, the father even enrolled for another course. He was once more studying alongside working.

Once again, the family complained that the father wasn’t spending enough time with them, and he repeated that it was all for them. And all through, he kept yearning to spend more time with his family.

The father’s hard work paid off, and he was promoted to the position of manager, and was paid well. Happily, he decided to hire a maid to relieve his wife from her house work.

The father also felt that the three-bedroom flat was small, and it would be nice for his family to be able to enjoy the comfort of a larger bungalow.

The good father knew from his past experiences that his hard work had always paid off earlier. So, he thought of continuing his studies with an aim for higher promotions. This meant more money.

Slowly, the family also got to see less and less of him. Now, sometimes the hard-working father had to even overwork on Sundays to entertain the clients. However, he too kept yearning to spend more time with them.

Again, when his family would complain that they don’t get to spend time with him, the good father would say he’s earning for them.

As expected, the father’s hard work paid off and he purchased a beautiful bungalow overlooking the sea.

On the very first Sunday evening at their new home, the father declared that he had decided not to take any more courses, nor run after promotions.

He too wanted to relax and devote more time to his family. Sadly, the father did not wake up the next day.

“Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” ~ Ruth E. Renkel

father with wife and kids have a family time

Moral Of The Story

There is just one message that goes out loud and clear from the story. Spend time with your loved ones, for tomorrow may never come. It never came for the father, and it might never come for you too.

I’m sorry if this sounds too blunt or direct, but that’s how life is – you never know what’s going to happen next, so every moment is precious.

I know you all have busy lives and sometimes it’s tough to take out time for your loved ones, even if you want to. After all, you all earn for them and want to give them all the comforts in the world.

However, what worth are the comforts if you aren’t going to be there to enjoy them with your family? You spend those precious years earning money, and miss out on seeing your children grow.

Let me ask you – Is money everything for you? Are you really being a good father or a good mother to your kids? Or even if you are working, are you devoting enough time for your parents?

Are you really giving them the real gift of your time?

“The best thing to spend on your children is your time.” ~ Louise Hart

Being a mother, I know I am guilty at times and need to spend more time with my loved ones. So, while I write this I intend doing things differently from what the father did – work hard, but balance things out.

Go out and connect with your family and kids. They need you as much as you need them. Spend these precious moments that never return – with them. You’ll only be happy that you did. 🙂

Over to you

Could you relate to the story of the father who had no time? Do you feel you also need to spend more time with your family? How do you plan making more time for them? Share below.


Photo CreditFreedigitalphotos


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78 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. kara

    2018-12-24 at 7:57 pm

    i’m the youngest child in a family of 4. my dad never has time for me or my bro, he always has some excuse like i’m tired or i’m busy or just something, it’s always something, i’m 14 and the last time we did smthg together was probably when i was 8. i want to be angry or sad but it’s been so long, i don’t even feel anything anymore.

  2. Ashi

    2013-07-29 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Harleen Mam,

    Well I want to thank my father about this. Although my father is in government service and have to work from 9 – 3 ( winter) 8 – 2(summer ) But they managed to have time for family. I still remember when I was 5-6 years old. They used to play cricket with us. Enjoying time with us. Earlier DD1 is the only way of entertainment and we used to watch movies on Sunday.
    Starting our day with Rangoli and that was great time.
    I always ask my father to return home soon so we can play. He is a great man and always have time for us.

    Well it feel sorry for those who have full time working fathers. Well hope this post can make them understand the value of family.
    Thanks once again and reminding the wonderful memories of my childhood.

    I would like to also add one incident. When I got fracture in my arm and My father took me to hospital. I still remember the warmth of his arms. Love you Papa.

    Thanks once again. have a great weekend ahead and keep up the good work


  3. Koj Tajo

    2013-04-30 at 4:44 pm

    One sad story here is what you have presented Harleena 🙁 and the other sad story is that I don’t even remember the face of my father. He left for heavenly abode when I was just a little kid. I have been on this kind of story myself. Thanks God there ain’t any story like Mother who had no time. I have brought up with all love from my Mom and I am sure there wont be this kind of story in future even.

    I want this story to be read by all the Fathers of the world and learn from this post about the real love, as a father, they can offer to their families.

    I have read a small story where a kid ask his father about how much amount he earns per day. Knowing the answer from his father, he demands the same amount from him. When asked by the father for reason of asking that amount the kid replies “All I want to do with that amount is to pay you that so that you offer your time of the day for us”

    I’ll keep up your expectations of being a good father of my Kids 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-04-30 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Koj,

      Sorry if it brought back bad memories to you as that wasn’t my intention here 🙂

      I can understand about your father and some losses are just not in our hands. And we have to accept this as His decision. It’s nice that your mom covered up well for your fathers loss, and that’s what makes mothers so special, isn’t it? However, there are families where both parents have to earn for a living, and the scene, whether it’s the father or mother is the same then.

      I agree, such stories are to motivate and inspire parents to bond better with their families by taking out time for them, and not just spend all the time earning money because if they aren’t there to enjoy their family, what use is the money.

      Yes, I’ve heard of that story too and that just shows even kids and your families miss your presence and are willing to do anything, just for getting more of your time.

      I’m sure you will be a wonderful father to your kids whenever the time comes 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post 🙂

  4. mic johns

    2013-04-24 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Harleena

    This is an eye opener in india. Everybody should know their responsibilty towards their family and father is a leader of their own home and they should create good example in front of their family. But in this competitive world one has to be so active in their work also.

    Anyways its a good story…………

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-04-30 at 8:50 pm

      Welcome to the blog Mic!

      Sorry for the late reply – I seemed to have missed this one 🙂

      You are right, and it’s just not in India as parents tend to remain busy all the time due to their work schedule and often realize the value of family when it’s too late.

      I agree, work is also important, but am sure we as parents can take out time for our loved ones, after all they are ones we earn for – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. inderjit

    2013-04-14 at 1:16 pm

    Harleena ji, each and every post of your blog has some great sense, i have read 3 topic today on your blog. Truly saying each topic force me to think about my life. Really a great work by you. In one line “now i am fan of this blog”.

    This post is so close to heart and touchy. 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-04-14 at 1:33 pm

      Welcome to the blog Inderjit!

      Glad you liked the post, and thanks for visiting and reading through 🙂

      Thank you for your words of appreciation, and yes, this is a blogzine to help people make their lives better, and if I can help in some ways – I would be more than happy. I agree the post is a little touchy because the realization came rather late to the father who had no time for his loved ones – hope none of us commit the same mistakes like he did.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Manickam Vijayabanu

    2013-03-08 at 10:26 pm


    Wonderful and touching story. Though it’s a story, it makes me to feel so sad since it happened for a great soul and wonderful Dad who work hard for family.

    Indeed, we are all part the story I believe. Sometimes I feel guilty as not spending enough time with family and kid , though I do as much needed.
    When kids grow up, sometime we surely miss out the harmonious moments and tiny happy corners due to our official schedule or work.
    The outcome we can feel only later where the time won’t wait for anything. Spending enough time with family is a crucial part and absolutely no doubt about it.

    Thanks for sharing the nice subject and great post.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-10 at 11:12 am

      Hi Manickam,

      Glad you liked the story and could relate to it. 🙂

      I can well understand your feelings, and yes, though the story had a sad ending – it also taught us all a lesson in return, isn’t it? The father did work pretty hard for his family, just like all fathers do. However, it’s often the lack of time to spend with their loves ones that leads to such a situation that nobody would want.

      Most of us are guilty somewhere or the other and see ourselves like the father in the story, and it was with that aim in mind I’d wanted to share this with everyone – so that we can somehow manage to take out a little time for our loved ones. Time waits for no one, and with our kids growing up so fast, it only makes sense to spend this time we have, with them.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. 🙂

  7. Adrienne

    2013-03-08 at 4:28 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I’ve heard this story way too many times and have seen it in action. My ex-best friend experienced this scenario I’m afraid and their son was only 5 when his Dad didn’t live to see another day.

    I know that it’s important to provide for your family and you’re only thinking of their best interests. But to me I’d rather live a comfortable life then have all the best things if that meant spending more time with the ones you love.

    Most people are career oriented these days and want nice things but at the end of your life you can’t take any of that with you. What a waste.


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-10 at 11:24 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      Ah…I should’ve guessed that a few people would have read this story or something based on similar lines earlier. Oh dear…you even saw it all in action – that’s very sad. I guess it must’ve broken their family.

      I agree with you there – I think we share similar thoughts on that one. Family always comes first, and there’s just no way I would rather spend time making money and not be with those who matter more to me. I’d never want to land up like the father in the story. But I do feel bad for those who do, and the worst part is that realization strikes them rather late.

      You are so right – you aren’t really going to carry those riches and things money can buy with you when your life ends. So, why not spend those precious moments with the ones who are much more valuable.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your words of wisdom with all of us. 🙂

  8. Oluwaseun Babajide

    2013-03-08 at 4:12 am

    Goodness! I guess I have been missing on some quality articles lately.

    I have been seeing you on virtually every blog comments but haven’t had a chance to look at your blog.. Have now had a look at few articles, and I can say YOU WRITE PRETTY GOOD!

    Many thanks for sharing this lovely article.


    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-10 at 11:39 am

      Welcome to the blog Oluwaseun!

      Thank you for your words of appreciation. Great to connect as well, and am happy you stopped by 🙂

      Nice to know that you liked the article, and I shall stop by your blog pretty soon too. 🙂

      Thanks for your visit. 🙂

  9. harish

    2013-03-07 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, great article. The one thing i like the most is its moral – Spend time with your loved ones, for tomorrow may never come. Personally i believe believe that spending time with loved ones is best moment of life.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-10 at 11:50 am

      Welcome to the blog Harish!

      Yes indeed, the most important part of the post or the moral is to spend time with your loved ones, and do so before it becomes too late. Tomorrow never comes, and if it comes – it never waits for anyone – isn’t it? What you have is the NOW – so make the best of it today. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  10. Enstine Muki

    2013-03-07 at 3:40 am

    Hey Harleena,
    Sometimes, it’s really had to balance up between spending time with family and working hard for that same family. However, it’s crucial to take that tough decision early enough to spend time with them.

    At every level in life, there is always something that’s better but we must learn not always to run after the better things as we may be loosing the comfort of the good things we already have.

    Sad story with a lesson 😉

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-07 at 1:27 pm

      Welcome to the blog Enstine!

      I’m with you there – finding the right balance is easier said than done, and it’s something I struggle with too at times. However, there’s no other way you can really connect with them – isn’t it? And just as you mentioned, it’s a crucial decision we all have to make and set our priorities according to that. 🙂

      I liked what you said about choosing something better instead of something good that you already have. We all have choices in our lives, and yes, each one of us has the choice to choose what’s good for us – where we need to think wisely. Glad you liked the story, which though was sad, but I hope it conveyed a valuable lesson.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  11. Theodore Nwangene

    2013-03-07 at 1:39 am

    Thats a very touching story Harleena,
    And can really relate to that as I’ve also seeing such in my neighborhood.

    The most ugly thing that can happen to any man is not having enough time to spend with your family, what is the essence of all the money you’re making if you cannot enjoy it with your family?

    A wonderful post as always Harleena.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-07 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Theodore,

      I agree, the story is touching, but I hope it managed to convey a lesson to everyone. 🙂

      It often happens that men aren’t really able to enjoy the time with their family even though they want to as they are generally busy earning, though there are always a few exceptions and in fact even wonderful fathers who look after kids more than their real mothers – again due to various reasons. However, whether you are a mom or a dad, the real thing that matters is that you learn to take out some time for your loved ones during the day, which only helps you bond better – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  12. Sue Neal

    2013-03-06 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I have to say this tragic story evoked painful memories for me – I had loving, caring parents, but my Dad was often too busy at work to spend much time with us and my lovely Mum never played games with us – it just wasn’t her thing, I think because she’d never had much of a childhood herself. I think that had quite an impact on me – I grew up quite an anxious, serious child – it’s almost as if I’m only just getting over it, decades later.

    I don’t have children – my husband and two dogs and cats are my family and I must admit they’ve been a bit neglected over the last couple of years when I’ve had a full time day job while working online most evenings and weekends. I’m looking forward to spending much more quality time with my husband once I retire from my job at the end of this month – lots of long walks with the dogs, which we both enjoy.

    I hope any parents reading your post get the message, Harleena – it’s such an important one, Sue.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-06 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Sue,

      I’m sorry that the story evoked painful memories for you though that wasn’t my intention. I can well understand how busy lives can get with our parents sometimes, and it’s often the children who suffer.

      I guess in your case your dad was always like that, which is similar to most dads who remain rather busy. Sometimes either of our parents have been raised in such a way that they don’t know any other way but that, so it’s not really their fault and that’s how they raise us too. Perhaps with your mom it was like that – I mean to say that’s how she might have been raised by her parents too. I’m glad however that you got over that stage of being a anxious and serious child.

      I know my Dad was another one of those people who was always working, but he was very careful to give us enough time and even holiday breaks, which balanced it all out very well. We were indeed lucky to have our mom with us all the time, and even though she used to work, but it was part time and she made sure she was back home once we were home from school. We were truly blessed that ways to have our parents always with us.

      You have a lovely family indeed Sue, and yes, like you even I tend to neglect mine sometimes when I get too involved in this online work. I’m sure things would get better for you once you retire as your family would get to see more of you, which will help all of you bond better as well. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. 🙂

      • Sue Neal

        2013-03-07 at 4:03 pm

        Thanks for your kind and thoughtful reply, Harleena – appreciated,

        No need at all to apologise for the post – it was good for me to reflect on those things and I think you’ve raised a really important issue.


        • Harleena Singh

          2013-03-10 at 11:51 am

          I feel a little bad Sue, when I tend to bring out those feelings in people – it does take you down memory lane…

          Thanks though for making me feel comfortable about it. 🙂

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The Father Who Had No Time

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