Dad Diaries : What it means to be a Dad
My personal take on what it means to be a Dad.
I’m never having children!
That’s what I used to say, among all the other things.
- I’ll never getting married,
- I’ll never drive
- I’ll never get a mobile phone.
- Even, I’ll never cut my hair!
Before I had children, I felt sorry for parents. The tantrums in the supermarket, sacrificing every minute of every day, every ounce of energy, every penny to your name. I led a solitary life away from all that, away from responsibility, with all the time, energy and money I could want.
I had a solid answer and reasoning behind anyone who would question me, who were seemingly happy with family life. It was simple – They had no choice! , they could never openly admit to their miserable existence, even if they wanted to. To me they’d been sub-consciously, or worse, willingly brainwashed, following in their parent’s footsteps like the sheep they’d become.
But as the years go by and you go through the monotonous motions of daily life, you notice something’s changing, something’s missing. People get older, loved ones pass away, friends drift away into the sunset, and all of sudden you realise the colourless still void that is your future, in stark contrast to the comforting smiles of your past. But I could never be ready to take on such a responsibility could I ? I can barely look after myself. If I wanted to have children I should’ve done it twenty years ago.
When children do come into your life, you yourself feel like an unborn baby exposed to the cold, harsh world for the first time. You pine for the long lonely days alone on your bicycle again, you question why you got into this situation. Life just became a whole lot tougher didn’t it?
And then you begin to notice the little things, reminders of the innocence of your own childhood, simple days at the park, but this time with you providing the memories for their future, and their children’s future when you’re gone. You try to become a father figure, to teach them the lessons you learned, to make sure they don’t make the some mistakes you made. Maybe they’ll look back and remember you with fondness one day. You’ve discovered something special, a rewind button back to the best days of your life, a chance to do it all again, but this time you’re ready for the pitfalls and can savour the joys.
But what do you get in return for all this effort and stress? It’s never been about that, you won’t earn money from it or gain any of the material things we’ve programmed ourselves to need as a society, in fact, there’s no logical or financial reason for having children at all. What I got in return were three beautiful, happy children, my own flesh and blood, my family, my future, my friends, my strength. It’s turned an empty shell of a man into a whole human being, with a new drive to succeed in life, and to get the most out of it (even to write music and books) . I feel I can take on the world with them in my corner. Maybe I needed children all along, perhaps we all do.
I’ve now outgrown my two-bedroom grief-hole of a flat, its been renovated, ready to sell, for the next stage of my existence, or rather our existence. One man against the world just became five, I can live with those odds.
Going right back to the beginning:
- I got married
- I learned to drive
- I got a mobile phone.
- I even got my hair cut.
Life’s too short to limit your potential with your own barriers.
That’s what it means to be a Dad.
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