Here’s my theory…until your youngest kid goes to Kindergarten, you don’t have the time or mental capacity to stop and evaluate how you are doing as a parent. It’s simply survival…hold on for the ride and hope not to lose a kid!
How many times have I heard from strangers “enjoy it, it goes way to fast.” Since our eldest was born, life has whizzed by and this is the first time I’ve been able to check in with myself and ask, “How am I doing?”
… What am I doing to set my kids up for success? How can I model the behaviour that will give them the springboard they need? Am I feeding them the right food? Buying them too many things? Putting them to bed on time? Answering the tough questions well? Spending enough time with them? Giving them enough responsibility?
My kids are now 6 and 7 and leading up to this fathers day I’ve been in a reflective mode. In fact I’ve been in this space for over 6 months now. Every choice I’m making in life is being filtered through the lens of responsibility.
I spent many years wondering why my Dad made the choices he made in his career; where my parents chose to live, how they spent their money and so on. It’s not until recently that it has started to all make sense to me.
I’m very lucky my Dad set such an amazing example for me to live by. I also had three grandfathers (yes, I got a bonus one), all of whom were truly great men. The thing I see as a common thread in all four men is a responsibility to family and a willingness to lead.
Being a fearless leader is something I’m newly committed to, in all areas of my life. And it’s the example that I see in my own Dad that challenges me to raise the bar.
I think for a lot of men career is the biggest distraction to parenting (and marriage) How much do I miss in order to build my career? How much time is enough and how much is too much? What is really important to me and why?
And on this Fathers Day I’m continuing to ask “are the choices I’m making in life REALLY supporting our kids?”
This year Rebecca and I have put all our life choices on the table to analyze as objectively as possible. Nothing is sacred. Everything from my TV career to our gorgeous view from our big beautiful house…
I can tell you, I definitely don’t have all the answers and I struggle to stay clear about where we’re headed but together we are embarking on a new adventure, making conscious choices for our children’s future, aware of the impact that we have been making unconsciously in our world.
While it’s great to get those arts and crafts projects from school as a reminder of my children’s unconditional love, it’s also a great time for me to get serious and reflect on the type of dad I am being and ultimately want to be.
As with all great challenges in life it takes practice and patience. I raise a glass to all the Dads out there who are working day in and day out to master the un-masterable art of fatherhood!