What’s the Hardest Part of Being a Dad?

October 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Ruda Tovar

I once had a non-parent friend of mine ask me what the hardest part of being a dad was. I laughed and told him I would tell him when I myself was able to filter out the difficulties to just one thing. I’m still not sure what my answer is, and honestly I’m okay with not ever knowing. What I do know is that the answer (if there is just one) is in a state of flux, like a pendulum oscillating, only the pendulum starts to swing in multiple directions at various speeds, hardly predictable. And maybe that’s the hardest thing about being a dad for me: the fact that its never just one thing, the fact that all the work you did on that other thing doesn’t matter because there’s another thing happening now, and you need to deal with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some ultra routine oriented person, I need a impulse in my life. I like a good charge-into-the-night like the next guy, yet none of that seems to help when it comes to my miniature counterpart. The constant shifting of gears can be a taxing process for even the most “successful” dads.

For instance, when I’m at the park and I’m watching my son run around on the playground harassing other kids with random one-liners and dead-end comments, there always seems to be “that mom” or in this case “that dad.” Lets be honest, we all know this parent, we’ve all at one time or another played the role of this parent, and if you haven’t yet, don’t worry that day will come. This is the parent who appears to have everything under control, an answer for everything, and some nouveau-trendy tactic for handling his or her child. Here’s what burns: A lot of the time, this parent succeeds. The parent succeeds in maneuvering the kid out of a potential meltdown and convinces him/her to share something he/she doesn’t want to share. This parent is not a bad guy, it’s the parent who all of the other parents love to hate.

But, alas even this parent has those days when “it” is too much, and by “it” I mean the child. When that happens and you witness the countenance on their face fall and all of sudden they know nothing, it’s bliss for us struggling landlords. I’d like to clarify that, I never wish for any of this to happen, honestly I don’t even think about these people till I see them, but when it happens it is inescapable and I (it’s safe to say “we”) feel a sense of relief. It’s the moment when we have shifted through all of the gears multiple times, exhausted all of our fresh-off-the-market tools for child-rearing and for a fleeting moment we are lost, hopeless.

That’s the hardest part about being a dad, a parent. Sometimes, all this entropy just breaks you down, and you have to gather yourself however you do it and continue “striking out into the night,” raising your kid.

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