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Disappearing Children From a Fathers Perspective

It’s important for men to have goals and accomplish tasks because we need to keep pushing forward. What is the next goal? What is the next hill to take? What is next? As a father and husband, this becomes a little bit more difficult to manage when your children are inviting you to a dance party in the bedroom, asking if you can go outside and be the monster on the trampoline, or want you to slam them on the bed.

I do my best to wake up at 4:30 a.m. every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend or I didn’t get to bed early enough the night before. There is something about being up and at it before the sun is out that gives you superpowers. I walk through the kitchen, hearing creaking sounds from the floor, to pour a glass of iced coffee. Black iced coffee with a splash of whole milk, any other form of coffee drink is just wrong. I go outside to the side porch where my bench and dumbbells are and take a seat. Usually, I listen to a sports podcast while I lift so I can get two things accomplished at once and also I dislike weight training due to how boring it is but who cares, do it anyway. After the strength training, I will read the bible in the sun room and take notes. I found if I write down questions or comments it will help me reflect better on what I read that day. After reading, it’s usually time to get ready for work so I get dressed and get my mindset ready to count inventory and become an unstoppable machine that organizes all manner of sellable product. Work takes up roughly 10 hours of my day which is filled with me getting as much done as possible and still not feeling accomplished. The drive home from work is around 20 minutes, depending on traffic, and it is the only time I have to decompress and get my attitude ready for what awaits me at home.

As I walk from my truck to the house I can hear the faint sound of my girls who see me through the sunroom windows, and start yelling out “daddys home!”. I open the door and i am hit with a wave of excitement from the kiddos who run up to me and give me hugs and immediately start catching me up on events from their day. My wife gives me a look that lets me know she is happy I am home and gives me a classic “hey baby!” and waits her turn to give me a hug. The dog is wagging his tail and smiling, from the living room he is patiently waiting to be told he’s a good boy. I am truly living the dream, this is the dream.

It can be difficult to transition from work mode to home mode in just a short time. I have been organizing data and counting product all day. A large part of what i do is constantly updating and organizing warehouse inventory. Transitioning from being in charge of organizing product and processes to walking into an environment that isn't under any obligation to be organized, is not easy. Sometimes I analyze the household and determine what needs to be “fixed” or I try to find tasks that need to be accomplished that may have been missed throughout the day. This can be an issue when the kiddos want to play or talk, my wife wants to talk to another adult for the first time all day, and the dog wants me to sit down and rub his belly.

I constantly struggle between feeling like I get nothing accomplished and reminding myself that each request that postpones my little tasks is the greatest thing in the universe.

I also have to struggle with the goals and tasks that I want to accomplish versus what the kids want and what my wife wants. I may want to cut logs in the backyard while I listen to a podcast but Clara would like me to play make believe volleyball in the living room. Abigail may want me to take her outside to ride in her wagon but I want to work on changing out the dishwasher. I could tell them that it’s important for me to work and that dad’s need to be able to accomplish things around the house without the help of the kids and sometimes I do because it warrants it. Most times, though, I put off whatever I wanted to do for the more important thing the kids want me to do. I know that the pretend kitchen in the sunroom being run by 2 child chefs is, eventually, going to be out of business. I know that the WWE matches we have in the bedroom where I teach my 2 year old how to frankensteiner me off the headboard will stop. I know the days where my kids look at me like I'm a rockstar are quickly fading. That’s why I wake up early every day, so I can get my things out of the way before anyone else is awake so that I can have time to enjoy the rockstar moments while I can.

The menial tasks I want to complete are not going anywhere and they will be waiting on me but the kids wanting to do silly activities with their dad are finite and one day will cease. It’s not selfish to desire to accomplish goals and to have a mission but at what cost. I constantly struggle between feeling like I get nothing accomplished and reminding myself that each request that postpones my little tasks is the greatest thing in the universe. I’m sure whatever I have to do can wait. My babies are disappearing each day, they will grow into teenagers and then adults. Ultimately it’s my responsibility to create lasting memories for them to recall when they have grown.

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