Sucks At First, But Glad I Did It

December 7, 2010 in Dad Tips  

Sucks At First, But Glad I Did It

Recently I watched my 2 year old for an extended period of time, all by myself… no wife, no grandma, just me.

When my wife told me she’d be taking off for several days and I’d be on my own I was pretty bummed. I mean, my son is great, but he’s not always so great, right? You know what that’s like.

But I learned something over the course of the past several days… See the vid for more.

Please Comment & Add Your Voice!

John December 7, 2010 at 11:08 am

Am I so different of a father. I cannot relate to not wanting to spend time with my son. He is 4 now and I spend every free moment I have with Jim. maybe you should take yours back for a refund, and definitely do not have anymore.

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Chase December 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for your comment John, I understand your point and applaud you. Unfortunately for me I get tired of my son every now and again, even though I love the snot outta him. Same is true for my wife too, when she’s not too snotty :)

That being said, I want to want to be with him more. And that’s what this is about: realizing that I can learn to be more present with my family simply by practicing.

ThatGuyKC December 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I seriously love your blog. You’re candor and transparency when it comes to all the odds & ends of being a dad is refreshing and hilarious.

As the father of two kids (9 & 3) this site is a great source of legit advice and continual laughter.

Keep ’em coming!

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Chase December 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Man, thanks so much! Cheers!

Adam B December 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Such true words: letting the selfish things go, putting aside your own wants and needs for a brief time in order to give your child experiences is the way to go. Seems brutal at first, but that shared experience is more important.
Adam B @revhappiness

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Tom December 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

Great post and site. I feel your pain and wanted to share a short story.

The first time I watched the kids (1 year old and 2 year old at the time) while my wife went on an out of town trip, I accidentally locked the keys in the minivan in our garage. The bigger problem was that both kids were strapped into their car seats and locked in the van with the keys. Compounding the problem, my wife (800 miles away at this point) had the 2nd set of keys with her.

Had to call Triple AAA to come out and pick the lock on the van. (Dad tip: If you don’t have AAA or other roadside assistance, you may want to think about that now that you have kids)! They were very nice and were on the scene in a matter of minutes to pick the lock once I explained the situation to the customer service rep on the phone.

Pretty much anything else that happened with the craziness of 1 dad watching 2 toddlers alone for the next couple days was not such a big deal after that experience.

So much is affected by perspective and attitude.

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Chase December 8, 2010 at 8:49 am

Great story, Tom. I love your quote: “So much is affected by perspective and attitude.”

danny December 9, 2010 at 5:30 am

Thanks for saying what so many others don’t because it would cast them in a bad light as a father. Maybe “John” never felt that way, and honestly I’m glad for him, but I for one can totally relate to what you’re saying.

My son is six months old today. I love him more and more every day. But my love for him wasn’t instant and the patience for having a new person in my life — to be responsible for and care for — didn’t come easily to me. Life’s not a Hallmark card.

When other friends told me they “instantly loved” their kids the moment they were born I wondered if something was wrong with me. I wondered if I’m not cut out to be a Dad. I began to doubt my own ability as a father. Would I love him “more than anything in the world” like so many other people told me about their kids?

And with time I’ve realized…that for me….it was time itself that I needed to forge that bond…to enjoy spending time with him….to grow a love for him.

I can relate to your mention of checking emails and going about your routine….no doubt the kid throws a wrench in it. And for the first few months of his life I was affected. I wasn’t used to being selfless. I tried to balance my old routine with my new one, and got frustrated and wasn’t able to enjoy HIM. It wasn’t until I put those things aside and made time for him….time uninterrupted by my “important tasks”….that I truly began to enjoy him and being with him.

I still sometimes have to make it a point to remind myself to let go of all the random things that I “must” do and to focus on him….but as time goes on I find that this happens less and less…I’m wanting to spend more time with him…get to know him….just enjoy being a father and watch something so miraculous unfold right in front of me.

As always, thanks for your honesty and genuine take on fatherhood, Chase. It’s why I keep coming back to this site.

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Chase December 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm

good words, man, good words. thanks for taking the time to comment, Danny!

Jeremy Pair December 13, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Kudos to anyone who can enter into fatherhood and be completely selfless and mentally prepared to spend 100% positive time with their kids. For the rest of us, we get a little OJT (on the job training) to be selfless and engage with our kids in a way that is best for their development. As our children grow and develop as humans, we grow and develop as fathers.

For me, my kids are a HUGE part of my life (see imaginary pie chart) but my kids are not my life. I have my life to live and they have theirs. And we all love and support each other as we pursue becoming our best possible selves we can be.

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