Forgive Me Fathers For I Am About to Sin

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Parents are clambering over themselves to pay tribute to their children, nothing says “I love you” like a status update, a popular one being something along the lines of “a year ago today (insert generic baby name) came into our lives and I can honestly say it’s been the best year of our lives”. Honestly? The best? Really? Don’t get me wrong it’s been a memorable year, a life changing year, a year of self discovery and I love Max like no other, but, and don’t hate me for what I’m about to say, it hasn’t been the best year of my life.

My best year was perhaps the one I spent travelling, meeting new people, staying up late and getting up even later. Or maybe it was the first year at university where it didn’t take me long to realise that the student stereotype was in fact a very true representation of student life and a lot of fun it was too. I sometimes look at Max and think that he’s got it pretty good, imagine having two people, essentially unpaid butlers, hovering over you at all times whose sole purpose is to give you whatever you want, now that sounds like the best years to me.

To dare to be anything less than glowing about parenthood is a definite no no. God help you if another one hears you suggest that you don’t enjoy every minute of every day with your little darling. Shame on you if you so much as entertain the notion of spending a Saturday in the pub instead of the park. Someone call social services I just heard this man suggest that he does not cherish sitting up all night with his sick kid. For the overwhelming majority complaining about the rigours of the daily grind is compulsory, failure to do so could result in promotion, but for parents, particularly the stay at home kind, it’s a taboo subject.

In a bid to buck the trend I am approaching my work with a refreshing dose of honesty. (1) Lady at the swings – “Oh he is so cute, you must be so proud” Me “I am too tired to be proud. We aim for cute but he is also very capable of being a little bastard from time to time” (2) Gushing Dad at the library – “Could you imagine life without your son” Me – “Yes, frequently” (3) Wife – “I want another one” Me – “With whom?” (4) Son – “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WAAA” Me – “What’s the return policy on this one?”

In order to keep my Dad of the Year dream alive I will end this rant by saying that like any other job there are good days, okay great days, and bad days. The selflessness that is required to do the job does not come naturally to me, I’ve only ever looked after myself and my own interests and I struggled with that. I think the best years are still to come – I’m looking forward to children’s books with actual words. I look forward to the ‘why’ questions, “why do you look so angry Daddy?” I look forward to pee pee and poo poo time being a solo venture. I look forward to dragging his lazy arse out of bed instead of the other way around. I look forward to kicking balls with him rather than just having mine busted.

Far be it from me to question the best year of anyone else’s life but I would question what the other ones were like.

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  • Alessandro’s Poppie

    Dear Max, take it from me, your Dad is ‘Out There’ Down Under! Great blog, even a new 60+ ‘dad’ like me can relate to all the above!

    • daddownunder

      I didn’t think you were a day over 59 David?

  • Reservoir Dad

    Nice article. Honesty. Rock on. The great thing about the parenting gig is you never feel ‘on top’ of things. There’s always a healthy dose of doubt just around the corner. I’m still learning that there’s no such thing as getting it right for good. Just when you think you’ve got a kid worked out, he’ll change things around on you. Just as you’re reaching a high, thinking you’ve finally nailed it, life will alter your path just enough to send you into another low. The hard bit is trying to accept that that IS life with kids (and life in general). You can miss a lot, and tie yourself in knots trying for something else. I try to remind myself of that everyday.

    • daddownunder

      I’m nearly their RD with the realisation that life as I knew it is no more. As much as I prattle on about the “good old days”, a day at the park is hard to beat and theres no hangover in the morning – bonus!

  • daddownunder

    Reading this back I must have been having a tough day, I am now proudly pushing my pram around St Kilda like the cat who got the cream – amazing what a bit of sunshine does

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  • Me

    Found this post through your recent link back to it. You absolutely nailed it on this issue. While I love my child to the moon and back – parenthood (for me) wasn’t really all it was made out to be. The frustrations, the repetetiveness, the monotony – all counted against it !!! I often said if I knew then what I know now I would seriously have questioned whether I am the right person to have a baby. My baby is now 20 years old and I am so glad that she is pretty much self sufficient and I have my life back again. Next weekend my husband and are going away to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and leaving her at home to work and look after the dogs – so it does get better, just hang around long enough and you will see that things do get easier. Unfortunately sometimes they have to get harder before they get easier !!!!
    Have the best weekend !

  • Deb xo

    I came to this post through your blogging the new therapy post… I, for the life of me, cannot imagine why you would have lost some followers. Brutal Honesty is refreshing, I had days when I would lock myself in the bathroom and have to dig deap to find the strength to face them again (the kids – all 3 of them – 3 under 3 – yep I was a bit crazy!) I love them like crazy and could not imagine life without them, but I fondly remember life before them… this kind of honesty is great. We all go through it, we all feel it, but we all come out the other end.

    • daddownunder

      Thanks Deb, I think honesty is usually the best policy even if it isn’t universally popular

  • Tina

    I just loved your post, and believe me, you are NOT ALONE!! We have 2 wonderful boys, I love them to bits’n'pieces, but when my younger one turned 2 three weeks ago I heaved a deep (silent!) sigh: ‘Only just 2 yet…’ I so cannot wait until he’s at school like his brother, reading away, using the toilet with a minimum to no help, and the possibility of just getting into the car for an exciting day trip without packing a food bag, a toy bag, a spare clothes bag, perhaps a day bed too? ….and my sin is even bigger…. I am a mum… and a stay-at-home one at that, too! arrghhh….

    • daddownunder

      Thanks so much Tina, it’s a tough old gig but I (we) certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. Merry Christmas!