Today is Father’s Day, a day when we honour the men who raised us. From my perspective as a son, I can fully understand this.
My father worked 16 hours a day for 25 years, only taking a handful of days off (he even worked a half day on Christmas every year).
It was through his sacrifices that I was able to go to college. He provided for our family and taught me what a real work ethic was.
To this day, he still tries to make sacrifices by telling me I shouldn’t have bought him anything for Father’s Day, and that I should have saved the money.
As a son, this Father’s Day thing makes perfect sense. It’s the official day to recognize and give back to our dads for the countless things they do for us.
As a father myself, and looking at it from a father’s perspective, this day makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
Let me start from the beginning.
Twenty two months ago, God blessed my wife and me with a beautiful baby girl, and thus began my adventure into fatherhood.
In the months leading up to the birth of my daughter, everyone I talked to kept telling me how difficult my life would become. I was constantly reminded of how I would never sleep and how my free time would disappear once the baby was born. I never doubted any of those dire warnings, but I was confident I could handle the challenge.
In August of 2010, the Baby Bean arrived. For two days she didn’t sleep and I would have died of exhaustion if not for my mother in-law and my wife’s grandma who were staying with us for a few days.
After the initial shock of the first few days wore off, I started getting the hang of this father thing. Changing diapers? No problem. Putting her to bed? I got that covered. Skin to skin bonding? The shirt is coming off. Co-sleeping? Take as much space as you need, little Bean. Bath time? I’m in that tub with ya baby.
Now almost two years later, I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on this father thing (at least the baby part; I’m sure the teenage years will be quite the task). People were right, it is hard – but no one ever told me how rewarding it would be.
I’ve got very little time to myself anymore, but that doesn’t bother me. I’ve had to give things up, but none of it feels like I’m sacrificing anything, because I know it benefits my little Bean. I see how my being there with her in the park instead of playing video games makes her happy. I see how helping her build a pillow fort instead of watching the basketball games brings a smile to her face.
I get absolute joy out of spending time with her, even if it’s something basic like changing her diaper, or helping her drink water from a glass.
I really enjoy being a father, and for that reason, the concept of Father’s day, from my perspective as a father, is truly absurd. It would be like celebrating me because I like to eat ice cream, or honouring my hard work in playing video games.
It just doesn’t make sense to me…