DAD 2.019: A funny dad’s honest reflections on fatherhood
posted by: Guest Blogger
As Father’s Day approaches, I’m forced to reflect on my own father and how different his experience as a father was than mine is now.
When my father fed a bottle to my first daughter, his first grandchild, he looked up and said, “You know, this is the first time I’ve ever fed a baby?”
None of us were caught off guard by the revelation. This was not news to us. Nor was the fact that he, though a father of three, had never changed a diaper and most likely never will.
This leads me to the revelation that despite today’s abundance of technological, health, sociological and educational advancements, compared to previous generations we are light-years behind. Instead of rushing to pick up kids at daycare, I should be stopping off for a cocktail on the way home from work and then entering my domain to an awaiting hot dinner, hot wife and quiet kids–all teeming with glee upon my grand entrance.
The problem is that somewhere in the last three or four decades we as a society have wrecked a perfectly functional lifestyle business model. We used to live predominantly in single-income households way back in the “good old days.” Now, oh so many of us are forced to ditch that set-up in favor of the more common duel income gig. And pardon my language, but that blows.
I used to think cramming for finals in college was stressful. I used to think dealing with a moody girlfriend was stressful. Hell, I can’t think of anything else in my non-parental life that was even remotely stressful, and the two items I listed didn’t really stress me out–I just couldn’t think of anything else.
Now I have the daily battle of getting my 2 and 4 year-olds dressed and fed and out the door. My wife and I battle about who gets the morning run versus the afternoon run. We both have erratic schedules and we both travel and we have no family in Denver, so that adds a hint of stress on top of trying to figure out the whole parenting thing.
As a third party reading this I would say, “shut up.” And then I would suggest, “why don’t one of you just quit your job and stay home?”
My answer to myself would be, “good idea?”
But we can’t. We’re stuck. Just like many of you. We can’t maintain our lifestyle on one income and we’re too selfish to downsize. Also, I don’t think either one of us could do the stay-at-home thing. I know I couldn’t right now. I definitely couldn’t have during the infant stage. Maybe in a few years when the girls are more self-sufficient I could do it. “Hey Lilly. Make daddy a martini and take out the garbage.” Yeah. That could work.
For you stay-at-homers, I thrust my envy at you. Not that your life is easy; it’s just that your grass is greener than mine. I’m sure mine must seem greener to you at times.
The bottom line is this: the ultimate stress maker was the initial decision to have kids. If my wife and I were D.I.N.K.s , life would be a 24-hour party. But there’s one small problem with that equation. I wouldn’t have my girls. And that’s just not acceptable.
Forced to make the decision again, I’d choose having my girls every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I guess if I had a “do-over” I’d marry a really wealthy girl so we could have a nanny and I could not work, too. But what fun would that be because I love my wife????
So in a few days when we all celebrate our fathers, or we help kids celebrate their daddies, or we remember our fathers that are no longer with us, I have a few words of advice.
Men are men. Dads are dads. We’re very, very far from perfect. We’d rather burp the alphabet than read poetry. But until science develops a third gender, we’re all you’ve got so you might as well embrace us. In turn, we’ll try to be more understanding of all your femininities and we’ll continue to diligently put the toilet seat down.
And for those of you still searching for the perfect Father’s Day gift, or more likely, for those of you that haven’t even thought about it yet; this is what we want–
A nice cold beer.
A couple hours of quiet time.
And a little some-some before bed.
We thank you in advance.