My wife’s dream since she was a little girl was to be a mommy. Fast forward a few years and we are in the throws of the “Young Family” season of life. We’ve been married for 10 amazing years, have three wonderful kiddos, the oldest of which is homeschooled and the youngest of which is almost out of diapers. To say that things around our house are fast-paced is an understatement and there isn’t such a thing as getting a day off in parenting.
I am blessed to have a job that allows my wife to stay at home and be with our children – my wife has her dream! That makes me feel pretty fantastic as a husband, but that doesn’t mean my wife is the Energizer Bunny.
A while back we began realizing that my wife needed some time to unwind, some time to clock out, some time away from constantly being interrupted by toddlers.
I have always been an advocate for my wife to spend time with her friends, but never truly understood just how draining (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc) it is to spend all day every day with our perfect little angels. *cough*
“Where is Norah?” bellowed the 6 year old from down the hall and around the corner.
“I don’t know. She’s probably hiding from you because you’re bothering her.” I quickly yelled back and then raised my hand to finish brushing my teeth.
It seemed like a normal exchange.
We have these types of ridiculous conversations all the time. One of them thinks its funny to pester the other one until that one decides they’ve had enough and runs away. Then the hunt is on, but rather than actually go looking for the frustrated sibling they just yell for Mommy or Daddy…because we understand all the universe’s boundless mysteries.
But there was something in my tone that seasoned my response.
Something that left a bad taste in my mouth. (and no, it wasn’t the toothpaste)
My 2 year old daughter has a bit of an obsession with shoes. She will walk around the house on a mission for someone’s shoes. It doesn’t matter whose she finds, but when she comes upon them she cannot wait to get her little feet inside them, walk into the room and for everyone to look at her.
She knows it is cute, but I wonder if she knows it is foreshadowing.
As I try my best to hold on to these fleeting moments I realize that my kids are growing, and life will not always be the way it is right now. One day my three babies will be grown, will leave the nest and will be making their own decisions.
Being a dad isn’t easy, much less being an “All Star.” Many fathers question themselves on whether or not they are good dads, or if they are even good enough as a man. Very few will ever ask a friend, loved one or even their own children if they are doing a good job.
Perhaps to lose a few pounds, save a little more money or learn something new?
However, over the past couple of months I’ve been trying to improve myself in a couple of different areas and realized something:
Intentional investment in myself is an intentional investment in my family.
Let me make sure I’m clear. This statement does not mean that I am allowed to be selfish – in fact, quite the opposite is true. Being a dad isn’t about getting what you want…not in the least. If that’s your motto then you’re missing something pretty big…it’s called “the rest of the world. “
This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. A day to honor and celebrate mom. Let’s face it, moms are amazing and many of us are blessed to have great moms who would do anything for us.
I have two moms – they are both selfless and love me very much.
This Mother’s Day was different for my family, because we walked through it without one of my moms.
My step-mom, passed away a few days before Mother’s Day. If that wasn’t hard enough, a day fully devoted to honoring moms brought a heaviness with it. I was incredibly aware of how this woman who meant so much to me wasn’t with me anymore. And in addition to that, I found myself thinking of all the people for whom Mother’s Day is a dark day on the calendar. It was a hard, heavy day, to say the least.
It was Saturday morning and I decided that this was a great opportunity to be intentional with my kids. There’s no time like the present, right?
“Would you like me to read you a story before we change out of our pajamas?” “YESSSSS!!!!!” was the emphatic reply from my two oldest (3 & 5 years old). “Okay, what story would you like for me to read?” “Robin Hood!” I was handed a kid-friendly version of the classic legend that we had picked up from the library earlier in the week and cleared my throat.
“Once upon a time…”
A light tapping came from the door. It was my youngest (19 mo) and she was excited to join the big kids. She toddled her way over and climbed up into the bed.
“Robin Hood and Little John were the best archers in the kingdom…”
No sooner had I said “Sherwood Forrest” than my youngest decided to start throwing a fit because she couldn’t get settled as she was climbing up on me (yes, ON me). I picked her up and gently set her down on my chest.
It’s been a year for allstardads.net and I have to say…I really enjoy this! While I have enjoyed writing posts there is another aspect that has quickly become my favorite part about the behind-the-scenes side of this blog.