Sometimes I’m pretty sure if I was a woman I’d be a better dad. I don’t even know what that means, but I think sometimes I need to be a completely different person to do this as well as it should be done.
Your kid is really just a little worm for the first few months and it’s kinda “this isn’t quite as hard as everybody makes it out to be.” Course, I basically have no memory of those first six or eight weeks because of all the sleep deprivation. But that’s a thing where there’s no other option. Baby needs to eat every three hours. Get up. Change her. Feed her.
But now she’s turning into a person. She’s mobile. She complains about stuff, wants certain toys, wants one book more than another. She’ll push my face away sometimes when I try to give her a kiss. A friend of mine said, “welcome to being a dad.” Well, I feel it.
I used to hear the trite old expression, “stay-at-home-moms-do-have-a-job-the-most-important-job-being-a-mom-respeckt,” and I was kinda like, eh, okay, but come on, is it a job? Well, no. It isn’t. I’m stay at home dad, now, and it’s way more than a job.
I’m not looking for sympathy or anything. It upsets me when people make parenthood sound like some kind of horrible ordeal. But it’s hard. It’s really hard. And, you know, it doesn’t make me wise, or a better person, or some grace filled version of myself. It’s just broken old me raising a child. In certain ways I’m equipped for it, and in others I’m really super not. It’s hard not to feel the ways you’re not more than the ways you are.
I don’t know if it’s possible to be good enough not to fail at this a little bit in small ways every day. You’re definitely relying on grace and forgiveness in this thing, which should be enough. But you have to pay attention to grace and forgive yourself. Who has time for that?