Holy Crap! I’m a Fraud!

While reading a post by the very talented Otter recently, I realized that I am full of crap. Well, I always knew I was kinda full of crap in some respects, but not when it came to parenting.

Otter wrote that he realized something when looking back through some of his posts related to fatherhood. He found he was constantly presenting a cleaned up version of events to everyone. That he was spouting off good advice, yet wasn’t always following it himself. It was a very honest reflection and it got me thinking. So I went back through some of my posts and damned if I don’t do the exact same thing. In fact, while reading some of my stuff I thought to myself “What the hell am I doing way up on that soap box?!”

Look, I’m not a bad dad. I think I can hold my own as a parent and I’d like to think that overall, I’ve done a pretty good job with Will. But when I read some of the stuff I’ve written, it’s all too clear I’m often putting lipstick on a pig and giving you — my faithful audience — a rose-colored version of events that transpire.

For instance, I wrote a post not too long ago about allowing Will to play with rocks. I wrote that it’s important not to rush him, and that those rocks are the coolest thing he’s ever seen. But you know what? I’m so impatient with Will. I’m constantly short-tempered with him when he doesn’t do things in a timely manner. Lately my life has been “go go go” all the time and I haven’t stopped to let Will play with the rocks (so to speak) in weeks. And he’s been extra fussy because he’s cutting some back teeth, yet I find myself getting all worked up and irritable with him when he whines. Like it’s his fault his teeth hurt.

And even though I take care of Will every morning, drop him off at daycare, pick him up from daycare and feed him dinner every day of the week, I somehow have managed not to spend any real, quality time with him. In the morning it’s a constant rush to get ready, get out the door and get to work. I shower, wake him up, get him dressed, walk the dog, make my lunch and — boom — we’re off to daycare. Then when I pick him up it’s go home, walk and feed the dog, get him dinner and then pass out on the couch from exhaustion while Will plays with his toys until mom gets home. And that’s it. An hour and a half later he’s in bed, and then it’s wash, rinse, repeat.

I’ve realized lately how unbelievably easy it is to get so busy you forget what’s important. And since this blog is supposed to be an honest look at parenting, that means I need to chronicle my failures as well as my successes. And right now, I feel like I’m failing and even worse I try to cover it up by putting a happy face on my daily fatherhood activities for the Internet.

I have the next two days off from work and I’m already looking into some fun places Will and I can go to together. But even if we just stay home, I need to remember that spending time with him isn’t enough. It’s what we do with that time that counts. And even though being a parent is exhausting and a cat nap on the couch sounds divine, you need to push yourself to be better than that. You need to suck it up and put forth the extra effort for your kids.

And unfortunately, I haven’t been doing that. But I will.

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9 thoughts on “Holy Crap! I’m a Fraud!

  1. You need to stop beating yourself up. I think that it is totally okay that Will plays by himself while you both wait for MJ to get home from work. You are raising an independent little kid and that’s awesome!! I swear it’s the kids who get constant attention and always have a parent in their face “playing” with them that have the most issues. They can’t entertain themselves for five minutes because they have never had to. Trust me – I’m a little farther down the road on this parenting journey and you don’t want to see the monsters I’ve seen :) It is good to once in a while spend some quality time in Will’s world – down on the floor pushing the trucks around or stacking up blocks – but you need some you time to unwind and take care of other stuff, and if Will’s willing to give it to you by entertaining himself, then I’d say you won the jackpot with that kid. (But you already knew that, didn’t you?)

    Oh, and the Roger Williams park zoo is awesome :)

  2. Sweetie, That’s life. Impatience, frustration, and losing your hair. People like you and Victor don’t realize how much you actually do. IT kills me when you guys get down on yourselves. Maybe MJ an I are not doing our parts as wives telling you that enough. I watch too many couples where the only thing the wife wants is for the father to spend time with thier children. It’s pathetic that the wife literally begs for him to spend time with the children and he turns around and says, why shoud he change his lifestyle? Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum the father that is killings himself to live up to some superhero expectation. Keep enjoying the smiles, let him figure somethings out on his own, and remember you’re a great daddy not a perfect one. Roger Williams is pretty cool. Capron isn’t too bad either for a quick visit during the week especially if you are already in the area visiting family. Love ya. See you soon!
    ngggxxdccccccccccccccc Love V3

  3. Awesome! That’s for letting me know that I’m not the only parent in the world that is stressed out, impatient and snappy. I put up the Model Mother front, but it’s nice to know that I’m just a normal mom doing the best I can with what little time I have. Keep up the good work, DF! You’re still one of my Top Ten heroes!!

  4. I think we all do that – especially in the re-telling of events. It’s like when people ask how you are doing. It’s an automatic answer “I’m fine.” It’s just the automatic response to tell what we do right, not what we do that’s not ‘as right.’ The important thing is to realize it, fix it, and go on and be better!

  5. Your post sounds exactly like how my life was going. My impatience is my biggest fault. I also tend to think just doing the nuts and bolts stuff sometimes is my only duty. Quality time is something we all have to work at. I am sure you are still doing a great job.

    I don’t ever know how to say thanks when someone says something nice about me in a blog. My cool vocabulary is non existant so I always feel like a dork. Anyway, Thanks.

  6. Ahahahahahaaaaa! Welcome to the club, I’m writing a book called Tales from a Fraudulent Football Mom. It’s based largely on that realization but more importantly, on the vast amount of parents who never realize they’re frauds, lol.

  7. I don’t think you are a fraud. I think you are a Dad with a very busy life doing the best he can. Exhaustion is the enemy here. It’s hard to think about doing anything when life makes you so tired you collapse. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I think we’ve all been there when we had young children. You don’t need to be Super Dad, just Will’s Dad. You’re probably doing much better than you think.
    As for “cleaning up” daily events, don’t we all sanitize our lives just a bit on our blogs? I look back and see that I have.
    Just to let you know, I enjoy reading your blog.

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