The 14th December 2004 and the 28th of August 2010 were the best days of my life. I always wanted children, Im not sure whether this desire was more fuelled in me because I was adopted or it just is part of my make-up. I must admit my first choice was always daughters and I am lucky enough to have my wishes come true. I was worried if I had sons I might be too hard on them and what if they didn’t live up to my expectations as a man. This is absolutely absurd obviously. However it does raise another point when contrasting the difference between Mum’s and Dad’s, we think differently and our behaviour is very different. As adults we tend to forget this and certainly in a relationship are less forgiving to one another.
Being a Dad has brought me so much joy and I am learning (in real time) how quickly my daughters grow up and change as they progress through the different stages of adolescence. I also have learned what applies to one child does not necessarily apply to the other. I have a collection of very different hats that I put on during the course of any given day, and on occasion I have managed to wear the wrong hat and by God I suffer the consequences. Despite the bruises and damaged ego I frequently receive whilst raising my daughters, it is the best job I have ever had and the most personal rewarding. I am not naive to think my daughters will praise me when they reach 18 and shower me with admiration for the outstanding work I did. No, by then I am sure another younger man (full of zits, attitude and a six pack) will occupy their attention. I am secretly dreading this day, the day I am replaced and kicked to touch. I try to motivate myself that when that does happen it will signify what a fantastic job I did. What a load of xxxx! I won’t be brought out on shopping excursions like their Mum, my contribution may only be the money to pay for it.
According to a poll, Dad is a pushover at home, apart from when it comes down to dealing with bad behaviour. I fully agree with this finding, except now that I am a single Dad. One of the hardest things of being a separated/divorced is you have to be both Mum and Dad when the children are with you. As a male my biggest fault was lack of patience, I had to work on that and I still do. Finding the balance took some time, although my girls would probable disagree with that statement. I tend to let the first misdemeanour go, if it happens again, I then explain why its not acceptable and if it happens for a third time, well let’s just say there is trouble which brings consequences. The follow through can be difficult if I don’t have the support of their Mum, then I find my girls get either confused or want to stay with their Mum for the easy life. I can only hope my consistency will earn me the respect of my daughters when they get older, time will tell. Age plays an important part of this, this was never an issue until the teenage years.
There isn’t enough time for me to write about the teenage years and I am only at age 15. Pouting lips, fake tan, hair, nails, oh my god the list goes on. Oh and that look of Dad you are stupid! Yes, I am and never was a young woman but I continue to try to understand. I ensured there was a pretty little type of case prepared in her school bag in the event her first period arrived with all the necessary accessories for such a catastrophe. Thankfully that did not happen and even better news for me and her it happened when she was with Mum. I have been lucky enough to be trusted with hosting the pre-disco event in my house. This is when a group of teenagers take over the house, lock themselves into the bedroom and toilet, spend hours getting dressed, applying make-up, doing each others hair, listening to loud music and probable giving out about me. My role is to order pizza, drop off to disco and collect whilst remaining invisible and holding absolutely no opinion! Thank goodness I won’t be available for menopause!
As my daughters evolve into fantastic young women and travel through each phase, and I know I have tougher challenges speeding towards me, I embrace all of them, even the ones that I don’t understand as a Dad. I longed to have children and in some way it has and continues to make me complete. The rewards heavily outweigh the sacrifices for me. Unlike Mum’s I cannot give birth, breastfeed and a whole heap more things that make Mum’s so unique. Byt, this single Dad tries so hard to be the complete parent and loves his children so much even when the tough decisions have to be made. I am living in the moment and each day get reminded the true meaning of unconditional love. Being a Dad has taken me to the edge on occasion, but made me stronger and certainly more patient. Of course I fear for what the future holds and change comes with time but one thing is true I will always be there for my daughters. They don’t know this but they have fulfilled a big void in my life and I will spend a lifetime repaying them!