Being a full time working dad there are days that when I get home I am extremely tired and I just want to relax. But with two kids, two dogs, and a wife that rarely ever happens. What I am finding more each day that passes is that I am not too concerned about not getting that relax time. The engagement with my family is far superior than a 20-30 minute nap that will leave me groggy and even more tired than when I laid down.
I was asked what being a 24/7 dad means to me. Because of work I am not actively performing the dad duties 24 hours a day. There is a good portion of the day when I am not even at home. I am employed full time so that leaves 50+ hours out of the week when I am not home with my family. That right there kills me. I want to be home with them. I want to be there when my kids learn new things or when they fall and get hurt. My family means everything to me. Unfortunately having an income is an important piece to keeping this family going, so it’s off to work I go. Don’t get me wrong I love my job. The environment I work in is fantastic. Additionally, technology has made the work day a little easier by giving me the ability to Facetime with my kids during a lunch break. My wife also texts me questions, pictures, and videos throughout the day. So by extension I am there even if it is in a minor digital capacity.
Being a 24/7 dad to me means that connection is never broken. Yes, I do need to get my work done so our family has food on the table, but what I mean is that just because I am at the office does not mean my responsibilities as a father ends and now it’s mom’s turn to deal with everything. That’s not how I see it. I see myself as a dad who wants to know what is going on at all times. I am the dad who gets home from work and immediately wants to dive right into the toy box with the kids. I don’t want to be the dad who just works, eats dinner, and fixes stuff around the house. I want to be the dad who plays with the kids, takes them on adventures, pushing them to succeed, and help build their imaginations. Essentially doing everything a dad should be doing and then some.
A 24/7 dad is a dad that gives mom a break. He is the dad that doesn’t mind changing a dirty diaper. It boggles my mind that there are some dads that can easily replace a nasty toilet wax o-ring but gag at the thought of changing their child’s diaper. How is one grosser than the other? To me they are both gross but I don’t renege on my responsibilities. That would be unfair to my wife who spends 25/8 taking care of us all. Below is my top five list of ways you can be a great 24/7 dad as well. DJ Rob Gordon would be proud.
Top Five Ways to Be a Great 24/7 Dad
#5 – Do you. If you’re hungry for some Waffle House take the kids with you. Do what you normally do, don’t sell yourself out for the sake of parenting. Plus, you will get the added benefit of showing your kids how to behave in public. A much needed life lesson.
#4 – Give Mom a Break. If you’re not at home throughout the day then that means your significant other probably is. Unless you have daycare, mama is gonna need a break. What better way for her to recharge herself than for you to take over.
#3 – Take over the night time routine. This goes back to #2. If your wife is not breast feeding then there really isn’t a reason why you get to sleep and she doesn’t. Taking over the night time routine was one of my best decisions. My wife isn’t as cranky and I get to spend some amazing time with my kids. Sure they are just laying there sucking down a bottle but those are the moments you can never get back and many fathers miss.
#2 – Change some diapers. It’s not as bad as you’d think. Yes it can be messy and yes it can smell so bad that you’d think your nose is revolting against you, but with a little practice it’s done and over with in less than two minutes.
#1 – Have patience and laugh. Kids can be extremely demanding and can be so annoying to a point to where you are possibly on the verge of becoming a homicidal maniac. Just be patient with them. They don’t know that asking for water fifty times in a row is driving you bananas. So just relax, calm down, and keep your cool. The last thing your kids need to see is you getting angry. Just brush it off and laugh. Kids are very entertaining, just pay a little attention and you will see exactly what I mean.
What does being a 24/7 dad mean to you? Comment below!