Becoming Dad

I always knew I was going to be a dad some day. I don’t know when exactly I determined that, though. It probably wasn’t until my university days that I entertained that thought. Before that I was just a free spirit. A happy wanderer. A lone wolf looking for a pack.

Because of the parents I had, I thought I knew what kind of dad I would be. I would be the dad who played, the dad who disciplined, the dad who got shit done. It probably wouldn’t get done in a timely manner, mind you, but it would get done.

I was going to parent like my parents did. I would allow my kids to think they were acting on their own when in reality I would be watching from a distance. I wasn’t going to be a helicopter or snow plow, or tiger mom dad. I wasn’t going to be free-range, mind you, but somewhere in the middle. I was going to be involved, too. I wanted to be there to watch them succeed, fail, or just plain try.

I was glad I was a teacher before I became a dad. I learned to discipline other people’s kids before I had to discipline my own. Not that it mattered because discipline comes in as many flavors as there are kids. There is much debate between which consequences work best. Seriously, there is no one size fits all. But that’s for another post, entirely.

Of all the things I was going to be as a dad, the one I nailed is being involved. Not in a helicopter way. I’m just there. When they’re getting ready for school in the morning or ready for bed in the evening I’m there prodding them along. When they’re playing a sport, I’m there to watch. When they have a school performance, I’m there to see them. When there are parent/teacher nights, I go. DW is with me all the way. Or I’m with her all way.

We’re in this gig called parenting together.

However, when I imagined myself being a dad before I was dad, back when I was a clueless twenty something, I didn’t imagine myself being quite as involved as I actually am today. My kids would love school because their parents are teachers. My kids would love helping out around the house because we would include them in such chores from an early age. My kids would be polite, respectful, hard working, smart, and a plethora of spectacular superlatives. Whenever I imagined what my kids would be like, I think God giggled a little bit.

I didn’t imagine I’d have a kid having ADD and needing constant supervision because he’d be a task avoider. He knows what he needs to do, he just doesn’t do it. I didn’t imagine my kid throwing a temper tantrum the size of a Philadelphia Superbowl riot. How dare I make a pancake without chocolate chips? We never imagine that stuff before we become parents. They don’t teach you that stuff in school. They don’t write about that stuff in books, or at least not in the books I read.

What To Expect When You Don’t Expect Your Kid To Be Different From What You Expect.

I learned to be a dad from my Dad. I learned to be a parent from my parents. They set a pretty good example, too. They had awesome kids though, so they had it “easy”. I wish I had it as easy as my parents did. Perhaps I do because I really don’t know their struggles as parents back then because I was just a kid. You can’t imagine #ParentingStruggles when you are a Terrible Two or a Threenager or even a Teenager, for that matter.

The Fresh Prince knew what he was saying when he said “Parents just don’t understand”. Well, neither do kids.

So, to my parents, I want to say thank you for teaching me to parent by example. To my kids, thank you for testing my parenting ability. One day, you two will understand why your mother and I do what we do.

Kids

Lucy At Home

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25 thoughts on “Becoming Dad

  1. So many dads skunk away from their duties after creating kids (my partner for one !! Hes not played with my kids more than 2 times and the oldest is 10 😢) so good on you for being there for them and showing them that men can be involved doing everything a woman can do and sometimes better !!

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    • Sorry to hear your partner doesn’t play. I’ve always enjoyed it. Parenting should go both ways. Both men and women are are parents so the duties should be split. A lot of times they aren’t. I love seeing dads in leading roles in their family.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My oldest was scared of the dark . I’d used to pop her in the loo for a few minutes. My son loved playing games so I’d take it away from him when he was naughty. My youngest was scared of dogs. I used to lock her outside with them until she came around. Funny thing is they’ve all outgrew their fears.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve stopped trying to be a Mom. I seem to have neglected obtaining the proper apparatus; a uterus, fallopian rudes, and those nifty egg nests — what do you call them? — oh yes, ovaries. So, instead I’m trying to be a grandfather now, so I signed the grandfather clause under the grandfather clock, but I didn’t sign the sanity clause (Chico Marx: “every body know there ain’t no Sanity Claus”). And I suppose I will be well-positioned from this grandfatherly weltanschauung to watch my extinction and possibly that of the rest of the race — but it may take time. (Is Pyongyang burning?)

    Enjoyed your self-analysis. Keep up the good work. Here’s looking at you, kid. Look out for wild Frenchy commentators!

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  3. Great post!

    God definitely giggled when he gave us Baby Girl. We thought we had the parenting thing figured out with LM and then came Baby Girl and suddenly we weren’t the parenting ninjas we thought we were.

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    • Just when we think we have parenting figured out, we realize we don’t. The second kid is NEVER just like the first. There’s also the added difficulty of parenting 2 kids instead of just one. We never really master it. We just act like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think anyone imagines themselves as a parent and then actually seamlessly falls into that vision. We’re all just making it up a we go along, dealing with curve balls as they appear. #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly it, Alice. We’re just doing the best we can with what we’re given. It’s surprising hard to predict parenthood outside of saying it’s going to be tough but rewarding. Thanks for stopping by! #BlogCrush

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  5. Pingback: Becoming Dad — All In A Dad’s Work – ProDadZone

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