Sharing My Struggle

11017500_796305033756995_4362691894724985392_nI’m not one to get overly-serious when I write in this space. Do I complain? Yes. Do I bemoan my screaming kids acting like tyrants? Yes, I do that, too. Right now, though, I’m struggling. And I need to get it out.

I’ve written before about feeling like I was failing as a dad. That was after a very long weekend on my own with both girls for the first time–when Maddie was still an infant. It was a tough weekend. I learned a lot from it. It made me stronger. But, right now, I feel like I’m scraping by in my role as a dad.

Perhaps it’s the age that both girls are at right now. Sophia is one of the most strong-willed four-year olds I’ve ever met in my life. And Maddie is right in that terrible twos pipeline, about to turn two next month. But, I feel beaten down. Like I don’t know what I’m doing. Like I’m being overrun by two kids. It feels like my instincts have been wrong on far too many occasions. They act up, misbehave, scream, yell, fight and I go for corrective action–it always feels like I’m doing the wrong thing.

I can feel my blood boil when they don’t listen. My patience dissipates in record time, and I feel like I could snap. I feel like I’m grasping at straws. Nothing works. I read about different techniques, ask for help, and no matter what I do, I feel like it’s wrong. I’ll tell you this much–it sucks. Being filled with self-doubt about the thing that you are most proud to be is heart-wrenching.

I want to be a great dad. I want to be someone that Sophia and Maddie can look up to. I don’t want to be someone they look at and get scared of because they think I’m going to yell. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be that dad. It seems like I’m heading in that direction and I can’t stand it. Maybe I need to look in the mirror and figure some things out, I’m really not sure. But, I feel like I’m failing.

This isn’t some new realization, either. This has been eating at me for some time now. I’ve just been doing what I always do when something is getting to me–push it down a little deeper and hope it eventually stops. It’s not the healthiest way to deal with a feeling, but it’s just what I’ve always done. It’s terrible, honestly. I’m well aware that when something like this is going on, I need to get it out. Talk it out. Get it off my chest, and figure out a solution. I’m not looking for sympathy here or to be told I’m doing just fine. I just need to get this out so that I’m not burying it.

This can’t be something that I let simmer and burn inside of me for a long time. There are too many long-term ramifications to doing that. That’s why I’m writing it out. This is as much for me as it is for anyone else. I know that I’m not the only one out there–mom or dad–that feel like they’re flailing. This is my struggle and I have work to do.

If you’re struggling too, I’d love to hear about it. How do you deal with it? Leave it in the comments, on Facebook, or Twitter.

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12 thoughts on “Sharing My Struggle

  1. I am going through something similar with a 2 week old infant and a really strong willed 3yo, in addition to a 10yo who doesn’t want to be around. Trying to find the words for a post…

    Liked by 1 person

    • My first big feeling of failing was when the youngest was 5-months and the oldest was just about 3. It can be hard to put it into words. I just sat down and just verbally vomited through my keyboard until it was all out. Maybe just sit down and just let it go, man.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can totally relate. I have two daughters, a recently turn 1 year old July 1st and the other about to turn 7 yrs. old tomorrow. It’s tuff being a daddy to two girls, especially when it comes to discipline.

      Liked by 2 people

      • For me I don’t think it would matter if it were girls or boys, I think the situation would stay the same. It’s tough, regardless though. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I think we’ve all been there as dads. Please don’t be too hard on yourself. There are times when we all struggle with the kids and keeping ourselves on track. I had a moment tonight trying to get my girls to leave the park. Give yourself a break and know that you’re doing the best you can.

    Carewsinsuburbia.blogspot.ca

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rob. I’ve been working on it, working on myself, and trying to stay calm. Did a lot of it this weekend, actually. Stopped myself and remained calm where I normally wouldn’t have. It’s tough, but I’ve gotta do it. And I know I’m not the only one. Having that support and knowing it’s not just me is immensely helpful.

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  3. The great thing about being a parent is that your children will love you no matter what, and even more so for being human. We all struggle, we all doubt, but we all prevail (well, most of us). I have 2 boys, 16 and 13. When they were 4 and 1 their dad and I split up, and parenting got so much harder. Don’t be afraid to take a moment for yourself when they are with you, a little time to reflect. I found that the things that calmed me down were watching them sleeping (nothing sweeter) and doing messy things together (water fights, finger painting with icing, stomping in puddles) things that make you all laugh. Remember that one day these moments will be different. Embrace the strong will of your oldest and cherish the neediness of your baby. Being a dad is not an easy job, nor is being a mom, doing it alone is 10x harder. Keep your chin up, hang in there, and hold on and enjoy the ride! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I can’t imagine going it on my own. I do love the little moments. I need to focus on those more than the tough ones. They are what makes parenting so amazing.

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