Last night I flipped out at two of my children right before bed. It’s not a great feeling, and I went and talked to them a few minutes later and apologized. I can usually control my frustration and pause for a moment before speaking to them about their actions. It’s strange how it eats away at me if I yell at them. I’m thankful, and I’m sure they are as well, that this isn’t how I interact with them regularly.
Being a father is freaking tough. I’m not saying being a mother is easy either. But I only know my role, sort of. I’m doing the best I can as each day goes on. The guidance I have to refer to is my father, tv sitcom fathers (I wish I was living in Silver Spoons when I was a kid), and all my friends who are fathers trying their best at this game as well.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far from this fatherhood thing:
- Being a father is more than just donating sperm to fertilize an egg.
- Being a father isn’t just about being a best friend to your children, but it can be part of it.
- Being a father means having to be there, or listen to their problems, even when you really don’t want to.
- Being a father isn’t an easy road to navigate, there are many hurdles.
- Being a father is the greatest experience I have ever had.
Not only is being a father hard work, it isn’t for everyone. I’ve caught myself going into full rage frustration with my face getting red, my teeth grinding, and the vein in the center of my forehead about to burst… All because one of my children didn’t turn off their iPad when I asked for the fifth time in two minutes. With me waiting so they could come and dry some dishes, and they respond with attitude as if I’m ruining their life! What about my life? I didn’t dream that in my late 30’s I’d be doing dishes on a Saturday night hoping to be in bed by ten. Just so that in the morning I can be on their cases again the next day, hunting them down to do homework. I hate that when I raise my voice, I hear my father’s anger come through in me. If he were alive today, he’d probably smile smuggly, knowing I did pretty much the same thing to him when I was a child.
I am doing my best to make a good life for my children. I’d like to protect them from the mistakes I made growing up. I want them to be fully functioning contributing members of society when they grow up. Being a father is also fantastic. I see my children accomplish more than I could have anticipated. I love bragging about my children. They sometimes bring me gifts and are always on the lookout for something dad would like.
I often see a bit of myself come out in my son’s behavior. I hope that through his eyes, he sees a man doing his best with what he has. My daughters both test my patience and can pull on my heartstrings and manipulate me easily. That being said, I do hope that my daughters see what a man should be by how I treat my wife and how I treat them.
I hope one day they each of my kids have kids of their own, so that I can smile smuggly as the circle of life continues.