I love being a father however no one ever told me it could hurt so badly. No one ever explained the endless sacrifices and sleepless nights trying to figure out how to handle the countless situations that come with parenting.
Being a new father to me wasn’t hard, it didn’t take a life changing event to adapt to having children; it wasn’t a struggle to wake up in the middle of the night and change their diaper, or to be sleep deprived and to feed them at 3:00 am. It wasn’t as hard as learning how to discipline them according to how they needed to be disciplined.
My oldest daughter could be sent to her room and have everything taken away but her bed and say “is that it” without batting an eye lash. My youngest on the other hand would act like you were killing her to send her to her room. Fast forward 10 years, life sure is different than it was back then and so is the discipline.
Learning to be mother and father 50% of the time has been challenging, and last night was a great example. My youngest and I had a rather large disagreement that led to her being sent to her room while I calmed down and figured out how to handle myself let alone the situation.
No one told me it would be this tricky. No one told me how hard it is to hold the balance of a girl’s heart in my hands and no one ever told me how I live is how they view the men that will one day be in their lives.
How is it that I can feel like a fish out of water when it comes to the depths of a woman’s heart after being a father of two daughters, having far more sisters than brothers, dating a woman with daughters, surrounded by girls in my family, and being raised by a mostly single mother?
Last night I feel that I failed at keeping my cool, I failed at showing her compassion and love while disciplining her and I feel like a little piece of my heart is broken for the fight we had. Last night I was not a loving father and it took the better part of my night to get it back. I few “I’m sorry“, a long conversation and my apartment began to feel like a home again, and I feel what was said may have hurt her heart.
No one ever told me how hard life could be and how fragile it is at the same time.
“He opened the jar of pickles when no one else could. He was the only one in the house who wasn’t afraid to go into the basement by himself. He cut himself shaving, but no one kissed it or got excited about it. It was understood when it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription filled. He took lots of pictures…but he was never in them”. —Erma Bombeck
I don’t question my capabilities or success of being a father as much as I question my effectiveness of teaching and being a good example of how life comes with struggle. Maybe this is not for me to teach as much as life experiences they need to navigate though.
Life is so full of things that no one talked about, it’s a good thing I like to talk, I have some catching up to do and I want to prepare my girls for this nasty world as much as I can. Looking at how quickly time has gone and realizing that my time with them in my home is coming to an end scares me. my oldest will be 16 this year, my youngest 13 and it went by in the blink of an eye. I am beginning to see more and more as they get older how much I don’t want them to get older.
No one Ever told me that helping them grow would be so hard.