I assume that anyone reading this is a parent. I am also going to assume that you love your kids. I am finally going to assume that a large investment of your time and resources are allotted to providing for your family. The above statements are also true for my wife and me.
How do you keep from losing yourself?
My sense of humor is not child-friendly. My interests and hobbies take a back seat to the needs of the offspring. A lot of my words and feelings have to go through a filter and be distilled into something that is appropriate and digestible to a young mind. I no longer choose my friends. I have to sort through the parents of my kid’s peers from school or other activities and find people that my wife and I find tolerable, who in turn will tolerate us, in order to have some semblance of social interaction beyond my place of employment.
I want to have the time and resources to date my wife again.
I want to remember who I am.
I want to be able to choose how my free time is spent.
The chances of these things happening are about as likely as the email that I received from the Nigerian prince wanting to give me money being legit.
I can hear the prior generations of parents’ thoughts now. That’s your job as a Father/Mother to be there for your kids and to provide. You should place the children first and sacrifice everything for them. These are also the generations that would kick their kids out of the house at first light and not see them again till the streetlights came on. If I tried this then I would go to prison.
I love my family. I am there for them always and forever.
However being there, always, forever, can be a source of great frustration. Feeling this frustration also makes you feel like some kind of child-hating monster who shouldn’t be a dad. I blame unrealistic media portrayals of perfect families whose parents have an infinite amount of patience and wisdom. Here in the real world, we have to be out the door at a certain time in the morning and if the kids move any slower they will cause time itself to reverse flow. If they miss the bus to school then someone will have to drive them there and be late for work. Being excessively late for work can cause disciplinary action up to and including the termination of employment according to everyone’s employee handbook. Not having a job causes finical issues which are the leading cause of relationship troubles. Having relationship troubles can lead to divorce.
So kids when I beg, plead, and yell for you to hurry up and finish your damn oatmeal and get your shoes on, I am trying to, in a roundabout way, save my marriage.
It’s hard to keep your composure all the time. I will be honest, I lose my temper at times. I am not proud of it.
Before I had kids, I would see some Mom or Dad lose their shit in public. I would be aghast and think, those poor children. How could you be so mean to someone so young? Now, I see the parent at the grocery store, by themselves, with two toddlers and a ten-year-old, and the poor Mom or Dad ends up yelling at the older child over a Lunchable while trying to keep the younger kids from climbing out of the cart. I think, you poor bastard, you must have been under pressure all day. I understand. I am not saying it is right, I am just saying I get it. I have been there.