I often wonder if my love for being a dad and my seemingly constant gushing about it is alienating. I’m sure writing about it like I know something is, so here I go…
Should I complain more about it? Should I stop telling people how easy I think parenting is? I don’t ever mean it to be disparaging or insulting, I don’t mean it to be a slight on you because you find struggles in it. I have always meant it to be comforting, especially to people worried about being parents -especially new parents. I don’t know more than you do. I don’t love my kids more. I don’t have any answers. I honestly thought I was helping. I think I must sound pompous. I must sound like a know-it-all. That isn’t my intention. I’m smart enough to know how very little I know about anything. If you thought I sounded like a know-it-all before though, you haven’t seen anything yet. I’m about to start another sentence with “I think…”
I think we all struggle. Things get frustrating, but I can’t look at them as being hard. Hard, by definition, is near impossibility. I don’t believe in that. My perspective won’t allow it. Its “hard” for me to call anything hard. I look at everything like a solvable challenge. Even in the way I’ve dealt with depression. This blog is me solving it for myself and hopefully others find some comfort or use in it. Even suicide to me was a solution. I looked at it very logically. I have always been a logical person. If anything, parenting is a challenge, and I love a challenge. Challenge accepted.
I have those days where I’m frustrated or upset or days when I think I want to shut off for a couple of hours but that feeling is always quickly fleeting. I find fatherhood easy because… I don’t know why. I really don’t. I’m trying to come up with some great introspective answer, but I can’t. I just don’t think it’s difficult. I find a lot of other things difficult to do but being a dad isn’t one. You know that saying “if you love your work, then you won’t work a single day in your life.”? That describes being a dad to me. Maybe that’s why I think it’s so simple. I look at it as the one thing in my life that never feels like work or an obligation. It’s just this great thing that I’m lucky to do. It’s this amazing thing that I get to raise this person and be around them all the time and love them. I’m lucky.
Okay, “parenting is easy” sounds arrogant so, when I say easy, I mean effortless (more arrogant), and when I say effortless I mean it’s natural to me (even more arrogant), it’s like muscle memory (stop while you’re behind). There are people that want to be parents and people that feel they have to be parents. I’m in the former. I feel incredibly honored to be called dad. It’s an honor that I don’t take for granted. I don’t love being a parent more or less than anyone but for myself that love of it is enough for me to give it my full effort and attention. I find love easy to give. I haven’t ever found love difficult to show or give. In fact, it’s given me problems being able to show my adoration for another human on several occasions; times where I misread situations or thought I was doing the correct thing. I live my life like a romantic comedy sometimes and that doesn’t work in the real world.
People who think having a pet is easy… that’s foreign to me. I have a dog, I love my dog, but in the end, I’d choose my kids over my dog every time. That pet will always need you to feed it and give it water and attend to it, it won’t be able to do that on its own. It isn’t going to make a difference or impact on society. It loves you because you feed it. Its loyal to you because you fill its bowl. Sure, they love you but at the end of the day its helpless and without you it will die. Children grow out of that. They grow into adults. They will affect the world in some way -positive or negative. Children will grow and leave and manage on their own. Every year they need you just a little bit less and I’ve never needed my independence from my kids in a way where I couldn’t wait for 18 to come. I wish they would stay young forever, but I enjoy watching them grow; but again, I love being a dad. I was made for it. I have been practicing my whole life. I’ve been preparing myself for it. Even before my first son was born, I had been writing down things to tell him and lessons to teach him. I’ve carried those with me since 2009 or maybe even before. I have been consciously collecting morals and directions for growing up my whole life, be it from TV or other families, or other sources. I know that’s a really skewed version of life but it’s all I had. So, thank you Full House, Cosby Show, Boy Meets World, Step by Step and Family Matters ha-ha. In retrospect Cosby might not have been the best example ha-ha.
Those TV families loved each other and loved being around each other. They had a fierce sense of loyalty to each other. I always wanted that and promised myself I would be that for my family when I had my own. I kept that promise. My kids and wife will always receive my unconditional loyalty and love. Period.
So, do I think parenting is easy because I think you’re less of a parent then me? No, that’s insecurity creeping in. I don’t believe I’m better or worse than anyone. I say it’s easy because I don’t want you to be fearful of it. Its amazing and fear makes you apprehensive and second guess your decisions. All you need to know is that you are in love and you’ll always do your best.