Categories
Events and Life Mindsets

Being a Dad is mostly the stuff you didn’t intend doing

Laura-Kim has been publishing a series of Father’s Day posts and she asked me to make a contribution so I wrote a post titled “Being a Dad” one afternoon, while I was sitting at a park with our kids.

The thing with “Dad posts”, especially when they are written for a Father’s Day series, is that it is tempting to delve into the profundity of fatherhood. I’ve certainly written those posts before.

Fatherhood is what happens when our kids disrupt our plans

This time around, I wanted to focus on an aspect of fatherhood we often don’t focus on because, well, it’s a little embarrassing. You know that saying that “(l)ife is what happens to us while we are making other plans”?

It occurred to me that much of being a Dad is like that. We have things we want to do, either with our kids or on our own, and those things are often not what our kids want to do.

I thought I had something meaningful, profound even, to share about the magic of being a Dad and then I was interrupted.

I was at the park with my daughter at the time. She asked to push her on the swings and I lost my tenuous link to what I thought would become a deep insight into the source of the magic of fatherhood.

As I pushed her higher and higher (these kids are crazy) I tried to remember where my thought train was derailed and failed. Instead I found myself captivated by the sunlight in my little girl’s hair and I realised that she isn’t such a little girl anymore. When did that happen?

Instead, our kids have a tendency to pull us out of our plans and send us down another path (usually a paved path in a park towards an inadequate hiding place). Sometimes being a Dad is recognising that our kids’ impromptu plans are the more important ones.

With that, here is my post. I hope you enjoy it (I certainly enjoyed writing it):

http://www.harassedmom.co.za/being-a-dad

When you are finished reading my post, go read the other Dads’ contributions to Laura-Kim’s series:

Categories
Events and Life Social Web

Twitter says #ThankYouDad

I get a kick out of how the social networks celebrate events like Father’s Day and its #ThankYouDad campaign is a fun example. Even though Father’s Day is over for the year, I wanted to share two tweets I enjoyed.

Dad data on Twitter

Top Dad hashtags on Twitter

After reading about how many Dads use some Dad-related mention in their Twitter bios, I had to update mine too.

Here are more #ThankYouDad tweets from Twitter users:


Featured image credit: Twitter HQ: Logo artwork – Copyright Marisa Allegra Williams (@marisa) for Twitter, Inc.

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets

“I just don’t want to make your day worse, Dad”

“I just don’t want to make your day worse.” My daughter’s tearful words to me before bed hit me like a proverbial shovel (or whatever proverbially hits people). I paused and explained to my little girl that her Dad had a tough day at work.

“You and your brother make my day better,” I said to her, “not worse. Definitely not worse. It’s not your fault that I was grouchy. That is my fault. I let my day upset me and I’m sorry I was grouchy with you tonight.”

I told her I love her very much and turned off the light. She turned over, went quiet and soon fell asleep. I sat with her like I usually do, this time in the growing realisation that letting myself become so caught up in my day stress-stuff meant I was putting strain on my family, my refuge from it all.

Trying to be a better Dad

When I find myself anxious or upset during my day about some or other stressor, I keep thinking that I should be able to handle it all better. After all, I’m 40 years old and I’ve been through more stressful things than this. When do I start behaving like the grown-up I am supposed to be and process my stress in a constructive manner?

It isn’t Father’s Day in Israel today but considering I’m formerly a South African and it was Father’s Day there (and elsewhere) today, I’ll go with it for now. Father’s Day is a celebration of fatherhood (yes, and an over-commercialised event, blah blah). It is another reminder to me of how fortunate I am to be a Dad to our amazing children.

In recent days, I think I have lost sight of that a bit and I let myself be snared by my stresses. This adult thing isn’t easy. It seems there isn’t really a manual for that one either.

I suppose all we can do is try be aware of our behaviour; get better at letting go of the crap we can’t change and change the crap we can. Most importantly, don’t lose sight of the people who make it all worthwhile: our family and friends.

If all else fails, I hear crying in a manly way into your beer or brewing a perfect flat white helps. I’m partial to Mumford & Sons’ Wilder Mind, but that could just be me.

Image credit: Pexels

Categories
Events and Life Useful stuff

Generous Fathers' Day gifts with #lovefromiStoreSA

My wife told me she had a call from iStore SA (the Core Group, I believe) to arrange delivery of a Fathers’ Day gift for me. They delivered it to her office last week and she handed it to me when I popped in to say hi. It arrived unwrapped but in an iStore bag and since I prefer to keep gifts pretty much unopened until the relevant day arrives, I brought it home and stuck it in a cupboard until today, Fathers’ Day (or, as I prefer to call it “Dads’ Day” – “Fathers’ Day” sounds so stuffy).

So, this morning I opened it with our kids (Gina was working since early this morning but she’d seen the gift already) and, boy, I was bowled over. She received a gift from the iStore for Mothers’ Day and that was a great gift. This was just over the top. It wasn’t an Apple device (that would have been crazy). Instead they sent me a Knomo Henderson brief (basically a fancy messenger bag that looks more professional) and a pretty funky Tech21 iPhone 5 Case Impact Mesh with an orange trim (not my first colour choice but I like it).

As far as I know I’m not the only recipient of such a generous gift from the iStore but this doesn’t change the fact that I am just bowled over and grateful. I switched all my stuff across to the new bag from my current InCase messenger bag (a terrific bag which I’ve used since the day I bought my MacBook Air 13″) and the new bag has plenty space for it between the zip up section on the front and the sleeve on the bag. There is plenty of space in the main, padded section, for my MacBook Air and my iPad (the bag is designed for a 15″ laptop so that makes sense).

The bag is beautiful and I like some of the design and materials choices like the leather on the front and a different material on the other side where it would probably be in constant contact with my body as I walk where I may otherwise wear the leather away. I had to take a couple photos of the bag to share. A big thank you to the iStore and my wife for this generous gift.

Categories
Events and Life

Happy Dads' Day!

Today is Fathers’ Day in South Africa (and possibly for you too). I prefer “Dads’ Day” and this is my little greeting.

I love being a Dad. Our kids’ arrival introduced an amazing dimension to my life which shifted priorities, focus and purpose. It has been a wild ride and although it isn’t always hugs and kisses, there are plenty of those too and they make it all worthwhile and then some.

So happy Dads’ Day to all the Dads.