This takes guts. by James.
Thank you to James Zahn, the one and only Rock Father, for joining in the “This takes guts” blog series, just in time for Father’s Day.
“You Want It All But You Can’t Have It…” (Actually, you can.)
When I became a Father for the first time back in 2009 (on our 10th Wedding Anniversary!), I entered into the job without much by way of expectation. I was excited to be a Dad, but there wasn’t any real or definitive outlook for how the experience would actually be. I didn’t enter into Fatherhood with the “fear” that some seem to put forth, nor did I have any grand plans for how those first days would be. Sure, there was preparation (and a lot of nesting), but I steered clear of the parenting books, and somehow managed to miss the fact that “Parent Blogging” was even a thing.
What I’m saying, is that my wife and I entered into parenthood by winging it. Actually, she was probably better-prepared than I.
Our oldest daughter will be four this summer, and our youngest will turn one this week. Nearly four years into this, and we’re still winging it – meeting each challenge with instinct – but I think we’re doing alright. The girls seem to be turning out well (sans the occasional tantrum here and there), and above all, we’re a happy family. As parents, my wife and I put our kids first, and that’s how it should be … and I hope that it will pay off in the long haul. There’s no such thing as perfection, but we strive to be the best that we can, just as I believe most parents do.
Over the years, I’ve had and chased a lot of different gigs. What I didn’t fully realize until just after my oldest daughter’s first birthday in 2010, was that I’d already scored the greatest gig of all – being a Dad. It was my calling.
In this space between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I’ve seen a lot of talk about parents “having it all” come floating across my timeline on twitter and facebook. I’ve taken a quick glance at a few of the articles and blogs, and beyond the pot-stirring, traffic-bait that fuels much of the “discussion” throughout the new media landscape, what I’ve been struck by is the overwhelming feeling that many of the most vocal parents put forth a depiction of parenting that poorly reflects families like my own, and thus paints the modern American family as being focused more on the interests of the parents than the kids. I don’t believe that this is the norm, and the white noise created by the combined voices of those who create controversy where there is none just doesn’t matter. Is parenting easy? No. Is it hard? Sometimes. But being a parent is far from a burden.
“You Want It All But You Can’t Have It…” – words from what is undoubtedly the most well-known (but far from best) songs from my absolute favorite band of all-time: FAITH NO MORE. Words with which I have to disagree.
If “happiness” is “all,” then yes, you CAN have it all. And I have it.
Being a parent doesn’t take guts, but sometimes it seems that it takes guts to say that.
For All the Parents Who Rock, I Salute You.
Keep up with James, aka The Rock Father, on his blog, facebook and twitter.