The reality of being a Dad in 2020....
First let me preface this for all of my awesome lady folk, I am 1000% aware that motherhood is an absolute war, you are warriors and I, and any man that stops for five minutes to think about it, will be forever in awe of you. I can't speak too much about your experience so I will just speak as a guy.......
Ok, so recently I somehow became a father of three. Adding twins to my already amazing two and a half year old and guys let me tell you...IT....IS......BRUTAL.
Well I say brutal, I think I mean weird. If you don't have any children or are expecting a child I will try and lay it out for you as well as I can but I can't really tell you exactly. Yes because every child is magical blah blah blah but mostly because its kind of indescribable.
Having a child is somehow the worst AND the best thing all at the same time. You are exhausted and yet full of energy, you are joyous and full of love and miserable and murderous. You want to put them in the bin and also miss them when they're gone for five minutes. There is really nothing like it.
Riding a rollercoaster while someone tips your lunch out? eating the worlds greatest ice cream while someone all of your school bullies mock you? Winning money while someone just punches you in the crotch? nothing really compares.
I personally, have found finding my fatherly identity difficult. Stereotypes suggest I should be tough, I should shout and scream, I should be emotionless, breadwinner and all that crap.
However I am loving, I fucking adore my children and I am not ashamed of that. I encourage them to share how they feel, I am a big believer in that its good to talk and express and understand your emotions and it doesn't mean I cant whoop your ass if it was needed. You can understand yourself and your feelings without being an emotional wreck. My partner is a fucking champion, I love running and owning my own business and everything that that brings but my god I want her to earn more than me and kick my ass, its almost a friendly competition that is only good for my family.
That's what works for me, I think there has been a lot of life changing revelations for me during fatherhood. However thats FOR ME, not you. If you want to be a stoic breadwinner that is FINE, but just try not to neglect emotions when it comes up in others, its OK to not be all expressive as long as you show love when it's needed. YOU are fine.
My big tips I have learned from fatherhood and are non negotiable are:
1) Always talk to your children when they are upset - Get down to their level and talk with compassion. that doesn't mean give in to any demands, just explain the world and situation and why they might feel like they do.
2) Be PRESENT - Hide the phone, turn the telly off, enjoy the presence of someone who loves YOU unconditionally.
3) Work as a team - assemble a team of people, or use your partner and agree you will help each other when the other struggles (and it WILL happen a bunch)
and the most important one
4) BE KIND TO YOURSELF - This one is so important and so often neglected. You are human (I hope? if you are a tech savvy owl I do apologise..hoot?) anyway YOU ARE HUMAN, you will make mistakes, you will loose focus, you WILL have so so many moments in parenthood where you have no idea of what you are doing and thats fine. You can not be all things to all people all of the time. Focus on the areas that matter, the love of your partner and your children are invaluable and work will come and go. Apologise to your kids when you snap, and you will snap, but remember that you are just human and try and learn from it. YOUR'E DOING YOUR BEST AND YOUR BEST IS AMAZING.
Take care of yourself and take care of your partner (trust me she has had a much more difficult time) and just keep doing your best and know your children fucking adore you! You beautiful bastard you.
Now stop reading blogs and think of a way RIGHT NOW, TODAY to surprise your partner and kids to show them Dad loves them.