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Father or Failure: Because It Never Quite Feels Like Enough

I sat down to write out a blog on “men's issues” and instantly hit a wall. What is there to be said that hasn’t been said? What gems can I bring to mind that can be of value to people out there looking for some solution? I told myself, “I’ll do it tomorrow” and called it a night.

The next day we awoke to SNOW. SNOW IN LUBBOCK. So that meant that my day was going to be a daddy and daughter day at home as daycare was closed. Our first day playing in the snow, to making a healthy-ish lunch, and then cleaning up the dog who got as muddy as possible in the 3 minute bathroom break outside. I even made a goal for a TV free afternoon that we met!

The Aftermath

At the end of the day, as my wife was headed home, it was clear that it had been a day. The house was thrown to pieces. A fire in the fireplace had randomly started smoking up the living room. The dog smelled across the house. The orange slices not eaten at snack time were somewhere, but definitely not eaten by my daughter. I was exhausted and my watch confirmed I had nearly as many steps as I do in a normal day at work.

What a day. I felt bested by my 22 month old who is learning more words than I possibly know at a rate I didn’t think possible and has an energy supply that makes the sun seem lacking in energy. As I know my wife is happy to help take over, I explained the day and she countered with “Sounds like y’all had a great day together. So glad you two got to play in the snow.”

Reframing the Picture

It was like the lights in the room turned on for the first time all day. In my attempt to be busy and be present and be engaged, I lost the actual measuring stick for the day. That I was there and engaged. That was the important part. Not the outcome, not the amount of “decades old cabin smell” that still lingered in the living room, nor the wet dog scent seeping out from our bedroom.

To be a dad is to be present and engaged and trying and that is enough.

Perception Is Important

I by no means have this “dad” thing figured out completely. I take advice and tips and tricks from other friends, coworkers, and those weird targeted ads that I get on social media. I do my best to balance family and work and play. I work hard at the things that are important to me and nothing is bigger than family, but still, at times it can feel like a ton of steps backward.

I’ve gained quite a lot of experience sitting across from others who have felt the same, be it a friend or a client, but the similarities in how we feel when the world is getting the best of us is consistent.

The solutions are there as well, when we look for them. Reframing and challenging those beliefs about who we are and more importantly HOW we are as fathers (and mothers too!).

There Are Solutions

If you find that you’ve been feeling like every obstacle has been insurmountable or that you’ve been loosing battles for far too long, consider reaching out to a friend, colleague, or clergy member. Talking with someone can be a great way to remember that they’ve likely felt as you do and found a way out.

If you’ve been there and done that and are still struggling or prefer to share with someone who is solely there to help you out without all of the extra social pressure attached, reach out to us at Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX.

We aren’t “perfect parents” by any means, but we are people who know how to help people find solutions and we’re happy to help you on your journey in life.

Learn more about the Men's Counseling services we offer.

Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.

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