As a dad blogger/writer, I’m obliged to publish something about Father’s Day. I know this, because my Twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with links to articles about super dads, struggling dads and pretty much every type of dad in between. Oh, and FYI. If I see another Father’s Day gift guide (“no socks included”, hahahahahahaha), I may hurl my laptop under the nearest car.
So what am I going to do in order to make this post stand out from the crowd? Simple. I’m going to give it absolutely no coherent structure at all. Wow. That’s SOOOOOO clever. You’re swapping your usual style for a collection of gibberish to make a point about the chaotic nature of being a parent, right? Wrong. I forgot to plan anything and came up with this concept while my wife was sticking our son down for his afternoon nap. Talking of which, the clock is ticking, so it’s time to start talking about nappies.
Have you heard of the nappy factor? No, it’s got nothing to do with poop or urine. It’s actually a concept developed by a leading sports betting expert Keith Elliott. His research has discovered that lots of sportsmen produced improved performances after their first child was born, particularly if that first child was a boy. Elliott’s excellent book on the subject highlights a number of examples and comes to the conclusion that these improved performances are down to the fact that becoming a parent suddenly makes these sportspeople realise that life isn’t all about their job. Apparently this change of focus decreases the pressure they put on themselves and this enables them to break free from their mental shackles and play better. I find this really interesting, because in my experience having a baby has increased the pressure I feel rather than decreasing it. I’m serious. At various times over the last 12 months I’ve felt under pressure to…
- be a good dad
- quit freelance journalism and find a job that is guaranteed to provide for my family for the next 20 years
- maintain my wife and I’s lifestyle, despite the fact we now have a dependent
- save for my son’s future
- not take the easy option
- stay on top of the housework, including renovations etc
- make new dad friends
- talk to my old mates as much as I used to
- sleep train my son
- find time to put the work into my marriage that I need to put into my marriage
- bond with my son
- get the best deals on holidays, clothes, household items, shopping and other stuff despite not being able to put any time into actually researching any of them
- make sure my son had a good diet
- not look like I was under pressure on social media
So what does all this mean? I’m not sure. I guess the underlying thing I want everyone to take from my at times extremely incoherent collection of Father’s Day words is if they have a 100K a year job going they should give me a shout (note 1: I’ll take a lot less). Not really. What I actually want people to take from this is…
….If you’re a father and you feel like it’s all a bit too much at times, you’re not alone. Although in public we may pretend to be gliding through the parenting world like graceful, Bugaboo-pushing swans, when the front door closes we’re all paddling furiously, gesticulating wildly and making it up as we go along.
And if you’re in a relationship with a father, please, please, please realise that, even if we dads are notoriously useless at orating issues, we do care, we have got a lot on our plates and we are trying.