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I mean, come on. I know the science. I know that every parenting professional out there will tell you that even the best parents will get worn out by their kids and will need time to themselves to recharge. They will all tell you that it’s totally normal and healthy to be pushed to that point. I get that.

Still, I feel like a crappy dad when it happens.

I feel like I should be able to go non-stop with my kid. I feel like I should be able to be amazed by him and involved with him from the moment we are up together in the morning until the moment he goes to bed at night. I feel like I should be attentive to every story he tells (no matter how silly), excited about every bit of news he excitedly shares with me (no matter how small), and be hyper-focused on every everything that has to do with him while he’s here. I feel like, when it comes to me, that’s what defines me as a good dad.

And for the most part, I do a good job of it.

But then, once it’s been long enough, and I haven’t gotten enough sleep, and I’m behind with my work, and my girlfriend has been neglected, and the house is getting messy, and my energy is running on fumes…

I hit this wall.

And it takes everything I have to keep it going.

Last week was when I hit that wall. Big time.

At one point, Noah came in and very cheerfully joked around with me like he almost always does. I don’t even remember what it was about.

I just remember I was summoning every ounce of energy I had left to smile at him, let out a little chuckle, and tell him he was funny. Time for bed.

He ran off, just like the incredibly good kid that he is, and immediately got his pajamas on and brushed his teeth. As soon as he left, I leaned over to the Farmer’s Daughter and told her, “I really need a break from being Dad.”

She just nodded and said, “I can tell.”

And that makes me feel like a crappy dad.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I’d love your comments, especially you parents.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he’s most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It’s an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!