That one thing we must all inevitably face as fathers. While this may differ from one dad to the next I believe that there is one particular force that drives us as dads. Whether for better or for worse every dad gets to face this demon at least once during their journey as a father.
What is every dads’ greatest fear then?
It is the feeling of being inadequate. A feeling of not living to your full potential. Where you realize that there has to be more that you can do and you feel you have so much to give but don’t know where to start?
Have you ever felt like this?
I thought over my previous post on “Would you trade being a dad for the single and free life?” and realized that this was a bit unfair of me when it came to new or soon to be dads. You see while my answer to the question was always going to be “No” there were moments in life when I did want to throw in the towel or get lost in the Sahara if I could.
Becoming a dad when you’re all set up financially and everything is “all good in the neighborhood” is great but what happens when you’re not. So you hear the news. Mixed emotions start to brew. You’re excited and scared off the seat of your pants at the same time. What now?
Get a job, diapers, wipes, baby clothes, buy a car, build a house, and I don’t know nothing about babies creeps into your mind.
The excitement lasts for a moment, then reality kicks in. I had my fair share of stupidity and made bad decisions when I was younger. Does this mean I’ve grown wiser? Not at all. It simply means that I continue to learn, adapt and evolve.
As I think back now this was one particular factor that drove my inexcusably bad behavior then. This feeling was always there lurking behind the scenes and was the driving force behind every bad decision I made.
I mixed with the wrong people, did the wrong things [by this I mean things that just took up my time and were not leading me anywhere] and the list goes on.
I believe this feeling is every dad’s greatest fear.
For me it was a feeling of not measuring up and being able to provide for my little one’s back then. This made me feel worthless, hopeless and helpless as a dad. It left me frustrated and just plain drove me up the wall.
So I made bad decisions as an escape from the reality that I was trapped in.
Why am I sharing this here? Well firstly, because I said I would also share my mistakes with you and secondly to tell you that if or when you do feel like this…
Don’t sweat it.
You are not alone.
What I would like to leave you with is not to let this emotion in particular influence your decisions. I fumbled, I’ve failed and I’ve fallen so you can learn from it and take the high road.
Would I do things differently if I could? Yes, I certainly would. But I can’t. Time doesn’t stand still for anybody nor is there a rewind button that we can push to help us undo the mistakes that we’ve made.
We can only learn from them, grow strong and move on.
What are some other fears that you face as a dad?
Share your thoughts or just say Hi in the comments.
You may also be interested in reading:
Would you trade being a dad for the single and free life?
What to do when you are up against the ropes