Dad, You Are Doing Fine!
This week I wanted give a shout out to all the dads out there.
Disclaimer: This will not and does not discredit the role and work of a mother.
I remember 5 years and a half ago; I woke up and got ready to go to work like any other day. I arrived to work at 9:20 am, and right before I was to start my shift, I got the call!
Hurriedly I drove back home to pick up my wife and our overnight bag and we head to the hospital.
A few hours later our first-born daughter was born, promoting me to the greatest the title any man can ever be, "Daddy"!
As I held her in my arms, I was filled with so much joy. And then all the worries of being a new father sank in and I was clueless on how I was going to do anything.
The struggles of being a new father and learning new things, like changing a diaper, holding her correctly, putting her to sleep, feeding her when the opportunity arose, putting her in the car seat, in the car, and driving carefully and so much more things was all new.
Then that baby starts to grow, and you start to teach her to talk, walk, run, dance, play, and to be, "careful with the corners!", "Ouch!". You comfort her and teach her to get back up when she falls.
She makes a mess while playing and while eating, constantly. She draws on the wall and break things. Now you must discipline her, so she understands why it was wrong to_____ (fill in the blank).
There’s days that work and school take so much of your energy that your patience is low and you lash out, or you punish too quickly. You say you’re sorry and try to make up for it.
There are many days you feel like a failure as a father, but no one knows this because you hide it well.
If you can relate to all that I described, welcome to the club new daddy.
Being a father of 2 rambunctious girls has really been a new and challenging experience. Their strong-will and combination of attitudes make some days better than others.
For 5 years, I had carried the weight of feeling like a terrible and failure as a father. Balancing to many on my plate I felt I wasn't the best father.
Recently, while speaking to a therapist, she asked me about my new job and how I felt. I responded with no hesitation, that I was well equipped to do the job and that if I didn't know something, I was a fast learner, so I would pick it up quickly.
However, when she asked me, if I believe I am a good father, I couldn't answer quickly. I couldn't even state that I was a good father.
Why was it so hard to answer that question?
Because I (and I know I'm not alone) am my worst critic and instead of seeing the good, I focus on all the many times I have screwed up with my kids.
She lovingly looked at me and told me, "are you constantly trying to improve every day?" "Yes". "When you make a mistake, do you ask your girls for forgiveness?" "Yes". "Do you take time for your daughters daily, even if it is for a brief moment?" "Of course," "Then, you are a good father!"
A father that is constantly trying to do better, learn from his makes a mistake, and does his best every day to be there for his kids, is a good father.
We are not perfect. You are not expected to be a perfect father, but, if you are doing your best to be there, then you are a good father!
So, my fellow dads who have been feeling the same I have been feeling for years, know this...Every little effort counts! Your kids will cherish every moment and effort you make.
Tell yourself this every day!
You are doing fine! Keep going! Don't stop trying!
You are a good father!