Doubt. It’s a daily occurrence for me as a father.
Am I loving enough?
Am I empathetic enough?
Am I forgiving enough?
The simple answer is no.
But that’s not the end of the story.
When I was first asked to contribute to this blog I was honored and excited but then reality hit and I started feeling like a fraud. Who am I to talk about being a father when it feels like I’m questioning myself on a daily basis? But then I asked myself, other dads fight these doubts too, right?
My girls (13, 10 and 8) don’t expect me to be perfect. They just need me to be me, with my 80’s music and piercing wit. They call me a drama queen but I like to think that what they really mean is that I’m witty and funny. I have to believe that.
I have an awesome dad and I think that gave me the foundation I needed to start learning to become a father myself. And as long as I pick myself up when I fail in my role and strive to always be better, I think my girls will be okay and will continue to be happy, caring and respectful kids that grow into happy, caring and respectful adults.
I lock horns with our intensely driven 13-year-old (which seems to happen more often than not these days) over silly things. But in the end, I see that’s she’s still a little girl that loves her daddy. I know she’s going to be okay.
I hurt when I see our 10-year-old hurting because some girls were mean to her at school for no reason whatsoever. But then I also see her stand up to those same girls when they are mean to someone else and I know she’s going to be okay.
When I yell at our 8-year-old and ask why she’s still talking when she should be asleep, and her response is asking me why I’m still talking, she gives me fits. But that same fire in her is what drives her to stand up for her sisters against bigger and stronger boys and I know she’s going to be okay.
So in those moments of weakness when that doubt creeps in, I remind myself that every night when I tuck the girls in, they ask me to rub their pillows against my arms so that they can smell me all night. And when I travel, they wear my shirts while I’m gone to keep me close to them. Yeah, I think they are going to be okay. And I think I’m going to be okay too.