So I realise that it's been a while since I've written a Geek Dad post, but I have been waiting for a topic that would be both important and also meaningful.
The past few months and weeks have been difficult for Chez Loxley as our little Moo has developed a little bit of an attitude. After spending a few weeks over the summer being spoilt rotten by a number of people (myself included) things took an obvious downhill direction.
- Don't worry, we're fine, I'm just using straightforward language, and let's be honest; what parent hadn't had troubles with their child?
I don't feel bad for admitting that there are times that I find myself still loving my Moo, but quite honestly not liking her at that moment (having someone shouting in your face the most hurtful things they can think of simply because they're tired and frustrated kind of has that effect).
I don't like feeling like that, and honestly I really feel shitty over it. I know that she doesn't mean what she is saying, I know she is only saying it because she is tired and frustrated but I get so angry and on more than one occasion I have spoken back in ways that I shouldn't, which I know only makes things worse.
I know about how much of an effect an aggressive and violent house can have on a small child, and I find myself questioning if an aggressive environment if just once or twice is having a seriously negative impact on my Moo. If in years to come she will look back at her father and remember just a simmering pot of rage.
[EDIT] This isn't an apology over doing anything particular bad, as has been pointed out that this reads to others. More me stressing how crappy I feel over getting frustrated etc
Those who knew me before I started the blog will know that anger and rage are two things very important to me. It was my anger that got me out of bed in the morning and my rage against others that got me through the day; a universal discriminator who hated everyone and everything in equal measure.
Then the Moo came along, and my life was flipped upside down. I wanted to protect her from everything bad in the word, including me. I knew that there was a darkness in me (wow that sounds fucking emo) and I needed to shield her from that.
We all have a duality within us, and to a large part I believe that my acceptance of the part of me that others may deem 'unsightly' is one of my strengths, but when it came from my Moo, I wanted to keep her safe from all of that. It was (and still is) my hope that in years to come she will see her childhood as one of fun with fond memories - basically the opposite of what mine was, what little there is I haven't reserved for my 'repression vault'.
I know that all me and the wife can do is our best, and that we will make mistakes and we will have off days, and there will be moments where I just want to scream in her face, and on occasion I know it will happen even if I don't want it to. We are after all; only human.
The thing is, I still feel shitty over it.
Most people; I don't give a damn about if my actions hurt them, but the Moo is different. I know it's just a combination of chemical imbalances that forces the reaction, but I want to do what I can to help and protect her, and few things are as shitty as either knowing that she is upset because of something you have done, or that the reason you yourself are so frustrated is because you have reached your limit of what you can do to help and you know you are unable to 'fix' whatever the current problem is.
I don't know if it's a male thing, or a me thing, but it is important to me to fix things, and being stuck in a situation where you want to help but you know there is nothing you can do to fix it, that's heartbreaking.
Anyway, what started all this off?
Well I guess I just wanted to put this post out there, heart on sleeve, that sort of thing.
I'm a dad, and sometimes I feel like a piece if shit about it, that I'm inadequate and a total failure, and I am 99% sure that every other dad out there feels the same from time to time.
Why am I saying this? Because I want others out there who may be feeling the same on occasion to know that they're not alone!
So a message to dads:
It's ok! We screw up! But if you are upset about that, it means you care and that's a fuck-site better than a tonne of others out there!
And a message to mums:
Next time you see an article from NetMums or some other BS Clique that talks about how shit fathers are, and lists "10 things that only a Mum would understand" but goes on to talk about late night bottle feeds, or teaching your kid to walk or go to the toilet, think twice about sharing it and the negative effect it may have on the other dads who may read that as it goes on to bad mouth dads the world over as useless sperm donors. Yes there are shit dads! But there are also shit mums, and just like how you feel insecure and shitty about how you are doing as a mum, we feel the same about how we are doing being dads. The difference is that as well as your significant others, friends and families, you also have support groups bending over backwards to listen to you.
Us dad's don't
Disclaimer: This post came in response to an email I received from one such 'mum-support-network' that was filled with articles talking about how shit men are at being parents. The reason I received the email being because I was inadvertently signed up to it while claiming some free childcare samples a couple of years ago, and despite clicking 'unsubscribe' countless times and adding them to my blocked list, they still somehow get through to my regular inbox, and I'm sorry but the level of self indulgent narcissism present in those articles (whilst flying the victim flag) was just disgusting and compelled me to tell a side of the story rarely told to Joe Public.
Stay safe and be excellent to each other.
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley