It’s something I have been asking myself every day since baby Lilly was born in December. Am I going to be a good dad? With Father’s day around the corner I’ve been thinking more and more about the kind of dad I’m going to be. Of course, I can tell a dad joke with the best of them but that just makes me corny not caring.
Will I be the dad Lilly can talk to or will I be the stand-offish older gentleman in the Lazy-Boy who tells her to talk to her mother. I honestly don’t know the answer. Sure, I could just tell myself to be the dad that listens, hugs her when she’s sad and tells her how proud I am every day. But it’s more complicated than that.
Over the years I’ve slowly become more emotionally “normal” about things. By that, I mean I’ve been able to push past my instincts to run away when things get too serious. I get very uncomfortable around people when they start feeling their feelings. Instead of reacting how normal people do, I tend to shut down and not say anything. Or I’ll crack a joke to make the silence and awkward feelings go away. I can always fake a hand on the back and a “there, there” if I want too but it’s never fun for either party involved.
When Lilly comes home from a tough day at school am I going to tell her to talk to her mom or will I just hug her? When she doesn’t win that 1st place trophy will I say “Nice job! Better luck next time!” or will I immediately tell her what she needs to work on before the next game or match. Am I doing anything right now that’s damaging her emotionally?! Who knows?!
Luckily, Kristen is there to tell me when I’m doing something weird and to balance out my lack of emotions by being an amazing, loving and attentive mom. My main problem is that I’m not in touch with my emotions enough to figure out WHY I’m not in touch with my emotions. I’ve always just been this way. It’s helped me get through some tough things in my life and I’ve never really needed to access those emotions. Kristen has helped me realize when I’m being distant and taught me how to become more comfortable around emotional people. But it is still a work in progress.
All of this makes me sound like I’m a robot but I promise I’m not. I have emotions and I feel them, it’s just when other people feel them around me. I detach and look for the closest corner to hide in, hoping no one notices. Do other dads deal with this? Is it a guy thing because we have always been told not to show our emotions? I have no idea.
The best I can do is work on it and try to be better every day. Hopefully one day I can confidently say that I’m a good dad to baby Lilly. I’m definitely going to do the best I can each day and I just hope thats enough.
This parenting stuff is super hard and I’m only 6 months in! UGH!
What are some things that make your dad great? Tell me all about it! Who knows? I might learn something.