In the post yesterday I admitted one of the largest insecurities I currently own about being a father which is seeing my daughters only on the weekends. The situation has lent itself to me forcing the idea of self reliance into my head and doing better. Hence why I have developed super activity filled weekend ideas that I chose to share with you. But to be completely honest doing things by yourself can become tiring so being a single parent sucks sometimes. Many times. Oh the stares I received following my daughters’ into the woman’s bathroom because I didn’t want to take them into the mens bathroom! I laugh about it now but I received snarled looks of disgust that in most cases I returned. [If my daughter was going into the bathroom SO WAS I.] I am paranoid about people I DO know around my children so no, strange-woman-I-have-never-met-in-my-life, you CAN NOT take my daughter to go tinkle.
This is the part of my post where you can start to judge. Its ok.
Friday evenings to Sunday night, that’s it that’s all the time I have. That is the window of opportunity I gave myself to be the best father I could be. Is that enough time? Can I be as impactful as a dad that lives with his children fulltime? I decided that conversations in my head were not going to answer my questions action would. So I did, what I believe now, I have always done in my life with gaps; I filled them with over achievement. The weekend now became a marathon race off activities and events to take my daughters to and impress upon them how much I thought and cared about them. Why? Well because they might not be receiving that message the rest of the week. I didn’t know if they were and I wasn’t going to assume they were. And probably to just convince myself. I was going to control — deliberately — the destiny of my fatherhood. The father my daughters remembered would be a culmination of purposeful choices I made and not a by-product of me “figuring it out” as I go along. I would not “wing it”.
With that said I still wonder……is it enough? Is it sufficient? The true answer will only come in the women I raise and the people they become in the world. I have faith in them but less in myself which is why I sometimes hate that I am a weekend dad. It bothers me I am not more involved in their lives. There are gaps, holes and spaces I have never nor will ever see. Is my love big enough to fill them? To even see them? I wonder. Faith in my daughters helps me with those questions and the knowing that the answers are eventually coming.
In parenting you are responsible for another human being’s life. You have to respect that fact and give it the energy it deserves. Part of the reason this site exists is to help with that burden, to lessen and assist in filtering the distribution of energy you need to dispel while raising a little one. My insecurities are not unique to me but something I think all parents feel in some shape or form at one time or the other. I have allowed myself to feel this way. I know there are things I can control and things I can not.
I can control the time I spend with my children and how much energy I put into it.
I can not control them wanting to call me in the middle of the week to say hello.
So even with MY small window of time I still miss things. I can’t be perfect however, its fine. I’ll make it up next weekend….
-A Single Dad