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Challenge: What Do Fathers Do Best?

Crossroads & Cookies: One Dad's Journey

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Dads aren’t always the loudest voices in the parenting conversations so for this month’s blog I decided to hand the mic to my darling husband and let him share part of his ‘dad heart’.

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“Things I once considered epic fails on my part, such as getting stuck at train crossings, are now easily some of my greatest successes as a father. Now, getting stuck at a train crossing for TWO trains in a row is definitely the most exciting thing that could ever happen for my son and me.… Isn’t it cool how parenting changes our outlooks on life?

Anything you thoughtfully choose to do with your child on any given day is more than enough. No Pressure, No Judgement, No Worries!!! You are exactly the right father for your child because God chose you for them. I am far from perfect… Most husbands probably feel the same way I do…we have no idea what we do well and every day we constantly look to our wives to gain that much needed approval and affirmation that they still trust us to be alone with the kid. When it comes to parenting, without the Wife’s approval we feel mostly inadequate and 100% incompetent most days!

My current chapter of fatherhood entails living in a home where both my wife and I balance full time careers as well as the more than full time demand of caring for our precious and sometimes dictatorial son (see my wife's post: Toddler's Are Dictators). My wife and I usually hand the kid off like one of those batons used in relay races. The career/child balance is an impossible one, and the idea that you can balance both is actually a fairy tale. Just try balancing a conference call right before lunch or nap time. You are sure to be that guy whose son chimes in with a, ‘WAAAAAAAAH!!!’, and then your boss says, “That’s gotta be Curt.” The best end result we can pray for is rooted deeply in our trust in Jesus and a healthy respectful marriage. Without those two elements, this thing called parenthood is not possible.

Let me walk you through a recent mostly-not successful, but loving faith filled day that is forever imprinted in my memory. It’s Sunday… Bree is working until 10am that morning. It’s our plan to attend church for the 11am service. After enough interactions with my loving wife that lead with “is that the outfit you picked out for him?” that morning I confidently put him in his brand new shirt she just bought for him and eagerly attempted to get the shopping done. The great thing about our grocery store is that they give all kids a free cookie. I confidently picked out a double chocolate-chocolate chip delicacy that I fully planned on “sharing” with him. It took a remarkably short amount of time for the new $12 shirt to become completely chocolate stained…. I, like most dads at that point, was considering if running off to Mexico was a better idea than showing up at home…. We went home and sure enough there was the 'look' followed by, "that's why I only give him sugar cookies." Lesson learned. And, in case you were wondering, the stains never came out. It wasn’t that funny when it happened, but we laugh about it every time we’re in the cookie aisle together now.

No parents are perfect, nor will we ever be. Dads are certainly vital. We are able to imprint and mold our children in a completely different way than their mothers. Comparisons of parenting decisions or ‘styles’ between Moms and Dads need to never be a topic of conversation. We are wired to parent differently for a reason. All you Dads need to be proud of who you are and what you do for your kids. Moments that feel like complete failures will most likely be the moments you look back on and die laughing over when you are old and wrinkled rocking in your side-by-side rocking chairs. I stick to my point that all intentional decisions you make for and with your child will always be the right ones.

We fathers also need to remember that there is another important thing we need to be successful at besides being a great father. It’s also being a great husband to our wives. Long after our children are grown and living on their own we will still want to have a happy healthy marriage to look forward to! We aren’t meant to do this alone…be a great team and DOMINATE this thing called parenting!”

Well said babe.

Dr. David A Anderson guest spoke at our church recently and said, “Father’s need to be there everyday.... Why? Because the streets are there everyday." The world will always have something to say to our children. But no one can say what a dad can say. No one can be what a dad can be.

'Dad' is so much more than a biological relationship. I've been blessed to have so many strong 'dad' role models in my life, especially after my own father passed away. So dads you keep showing up everyday. Our children need you.

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