Growing up, I never imagined my Father’s Day to be a Single Father’s Day. But I suppose this is a good time to talk about how life just doesn’t always work out the way you planned.
Roll With The Punches
One of the things I’ve learned in life is that just when you think things are perfect, life has a way of reminding you that you’re not in control. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but it most certainly is a painful thing. I’ve always lived by the motto, that it’s not how you act when things are going your way that defines you. How you act when curve balls are thrown at you (and sometimes it feels more like 1000 100mph curve balls at a time), is what will define you.
I think it’s important to play the long game though. These road bumps aren’t permanent and will pass. But there will be more. There’s always more.
Just add kids . . .
Adding kids into the mix makes things exponentially more complicated. Your job as a parent (single, married and anything in between), is to create a home and a life with stability. A road without road bumps. A game with out any curveballs. And that’s the challenge of being a good parent. “Rolling with the punches” and absorbing these experiences so that you can create a stable environment for your kids is the important thing.
And that sometimes means losing.
Losing the battle, but winning the war.
Nobody likes losing. As an entrepreneur I hate it. There’s very few things in life I dispose more than the thought of losing. But when it comes to Kailyn, I’ll lose the battle so I can win the war.
The war isn’t with my ex. It’s not with the bully’s at school. The war is with her life and her happiness.
I will take all of the bruises so that she doesn’t have to absorb them. I’ll lose every battle if it means that she doesn’t know about them or have to feel them. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But it’s not about me anymore. It’s about her. And she’s worth losing for.
Be the man you know you can be.
I think that all of us as parents have an idea of who we should/want to be. The problem isn’t imagining this person. The problem is being that person. We fight for so much in life . . . Love, job, friendships, etc. This too is worth fighting for. I have to remind myself every day. Be the man I know I can be for Kailyn. Be that man. Father’s Day is a good reminder of this.
There are daily battles in my mind when I want to be something different. When I want to be a single guy looking for love. Or I want to lash out at others who have hurt me. I don’t have that luxury.
It’s no longer about me.
I read a quote somewhere (if I find the citation somewhere I’ll update this blog), but it said, “Your job once you become a parent is one thing . . . Creating future memories for your children“. Even though I couldn’t find that quote citation, here’s an article with some great quotes about parenting: http://onetimethrough.com/25-inspirational-quotes-that-will-boost-your-parenting-patience/
That struck me because I know as a parent, how much information Kailyn absorbs. It’s amazing how much kids hear, but more importantly . . . What the sense. I need to be creating positive memories for her, not negative. It’s my job to turn negative vibes into positive vibes. Am I always successful? No way. But I’ll be damned if I don’t give it my best shot.
It’s an honor to be Kailyn’s dad. I wrote about it in my first blog. It’s a responsibility that I wasn’t prepared for, but that I take most seriously. It’s a full time job. It’s raising a little girl who is strong, confident and ready to take on the world. It’s leading by example so she has a path to follow, not a path she’s “heard about”. The day she was born, I became a father FIRST, and VegasBen second.
I’m not saying I’ve always got it right. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I failed as a husband at times, failed as a friend at times, and I’m sure I’ve failed as a father at times too.
But everyday is a new day as a parent. When you kid is 9, you get a new slate every day. But that won’t last forever so it’s important to start making the right choices now, rather than later.
It’s Father’s Day now at 2:32a and I’m lying next to Kailyn now. I listen to her breathe and (creepily) watch her sleep. She’s my best work. The best thing I’ve ever done and will do on this earth. They say you don’t know love until you have a child and I always called bull shit on that, but as a father I can tell you it’s true.
I want to wish all of the fathers out there, a VERY happy Father’s Day. Today is your day and I hope you get to enjoy it with your child(ren). It’s a day of celebration, but I hope you also take it as a reminder of how important you are in their lives. A men, we have to do better. We have to be better. We have to want to be better.
Happy Father’s Day!!!
The last thing I want to say, is Happy Father’s Day to all of the women who are also acting on behalf of absent fathers. You too are hero’s and should be celebrated. This day is for you too, and every present father should be thankful you’re filling in.
Being a dad is the best thing I’ve ever done and I can’t say it enough times. I’m proud to be Kailyn’s father and I hope she’s proud I’m her daddy.
I love you little K.
Happy Father’s Day all,
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