I have come to the realization that I want, above all else, to be remembered as an awesome father. It matters little to me now if I miss out on a few of my personal dreams and ambitions … fatherhood is so fulfilling for me that it supersedes everything else. I know it might sound like a cop out or an excuse to underachieve, but fatherhood has been ennobling, humbling, rewarding, and ultimately gave my life a kind of meaning I hadn't found in anything else.
I'm lucky, first of all. I have a job that allows me to work from home, enabling me to spend as much time as possible raising my two daughters. I realize that these days, fathers miss out on a lot of their children's childhood because work keeps them away. The same could be said for a lot of mothers, as well. It’s an unpalatable necessity in this economy. In this way, my wife and I are blessed. So far, we've managed to scrape by on modest earnings without having to spend time away from our children. Given the demands of a growing family, the option of applying for a full-time job enters our conversations now and again but always fails to stack up against our desire to be hands-on parents.
Parenting is a Full-Time Job for Moms… and Dads
The truth is, parenting is a full-time job. Most parents manage to share the load by having helpers or relatives take care of the kids while they're away at work. I realized, watching my young daughters grow up, that I would be missing a lot if ever I rejoined the rat race. It doesn't seem worth it to me. I don't want to miss a thing. I believe that many fathers are cheated out of fatherhood because the help usually takes care of the seemingly minor duties of bottle feeding, diaper changing, and even bathing. Don't let it happen. Spend whatever little time you have outside work with your children. You won't regret it.
The phrase, "they grow up so fast" isn't an exaggeration, it's a harsh truth spoken by parents who wish they could spend more time with their kids at a certain age. As much as I look forward to certain milestones—crawling, walking, talking—it also means saying goodbye to a different stage. The thought that one day my daughters will be too old and too big for me to carry while they rest their heads on my shoulder breaks my heart, so I'm enjoying it while I can.
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