My son is only going to be 2 years old this May, and I can safely say that I know the secret to being a good parent already…
That’s Right! I Said It!
…Let me build up to the moment…
It’s been a while since I last took some time out of my schedule to sit down and write. I used to find pleasure in writing this blog–not only because I enjoy other people reading my work, but really because I enjoy writing and then getting to look back on the journey I’ve been on as a first time father.
But life got in the way.
With all the traveling the globe for work, the 16-hour workdays, going to grad school, finishing certification courses, starting my own business, marketing, networking, and everything else that being an adult brings to the table… time spreads extremely thin… extremely fast.
I can’t believe how time works. They say “time flies when you’re having fun.” Other known clichés are, “it all happened in a split second,” “in the blink of an eye,” “where did the time go,” or even, “in two shakes of a lambs tail.” The concept that time moves so fast that we are literally unable to piece together the memories of what has happened in the course of it, is sometimes a blessing and a curse.
There really isn’t enough time in a day… it truly is the the truest cliché ever created.
It’s hard. Being an adult is hard. Being a responsible, tax paying, law abiding citizen is hard. However being a good parent is easy. Wait… that’s hard too.
It’s hard to wake up in the morning and go to a job that is unappreciative of the work you put into it. It’s hard when you finally get a little bit of money saved up in your account, and your car breaks down. It’s hard when you start showing physical improvement while getting back in shape and then your kid gets you sick again for the 3rd time this season. It’s hard to come home and want to show affection to your family, but you’re tired from the long day and the only thing on your mind is the “honey-do” list that you’re reminded of the minute you walk in. Life is hard, and it’s constant.
We’re constantly moving. We’re constantly chasing. We’re constantly wanting. We’re constantly trying to fit into a role that we’ve developed either by living up to somebody else’s social standards, or an internally created image that we believe we must live up to from a lifetime of constantly trying to figure out who we are.
Basically… we’re constantly enveloped in something that takes our undivided attention away from the one true thing that needs it the most…
That’s right! I’ve come to realize through trial and error, through arguments with the wife, and dirty looks, through lonely nights in the books, or long nights at school… I’ve realized that every single minute I get to spend with my little guy, my son, the love of my life… I’ve realized that the secret to being a great parent, is simply making time.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that making time is easy!
By NO means am I saying that it’s easy–in fact being present is one of the hardest things for me to accomplish. I often find myself consciously taking time away from what I was doing in order to be a family man. Sure the way I’m saying it, I sound bitter and mad about it… however if you know me, I seem to think everything is extremely important and things must get done now.
But let me tell you… when I do stop and take that time–the time to walk away from what I often deem more important than being present in the moment… having my little man sit in my lap and look up at me with his little tiny face, motioning me in for a little tiny kiss… when my little guy fills the house with his little tiny hearty giggles… when my little buddy screams “dada,” or runs to the door to greet me when he hears the car alarm get set… these are all the moments that remind me that I’ve made a solid decision to stop whatever it was I was doing, and make sure that I make sure I participate in my son’s life.
That’s right, the secret to parenting is to be present.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
Even if you’re like me and you can’t be around at all times… make sure you’re around some of the time.
Share a moment.
Share a laugh.
Share a hug.
As your children get older, make sure you make it a point to experience as many milestones you possibly can. The first days of school… the homecomings, the proms, the little league baseball games, the talk…
Look… if anyone gets that you aren’t going to make every single event, it’s me. But making an effort is important. I learned that. I understand that. And I’m working on that myself.
I know the secret to be a great parent. Now it’s on me to use that knowledge to actually be… a great parent.
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Posted in Did He Really Just Say That?, Parenthood, The Puzzle Piece and tagged be a great parent, be present, being a great parent, being present, live, live in the moment, living in the moment, newdad, no time, not enough time, parent, parenting secrets, the secret, the secret of parenting, timewith 2 comments.