This coming weekend, I’ll be experiencing my eleventh Father’s Day. Usually I’m celebrating in some form of fashion with my dad or my friends that are dads. Blame COVID or it’s just me being lost in my thoughts lately, yet I’ve really been thinking on what fatherhood means to me. I’ve been pondering on starting my internal examination from a pure slate. That means ridding myself of the examples I’ve witnessed of fatherhood or what I’ve been taught was the definition of fatherhood. Most importantly, I’ve drowned out the noise of people who are not fathers and will never be fathers. Not having to sift through opinions without the experience to make said opinions relevant has been rewarding. My personal definitions are still evolving, but what fatherhood means to me at this very moment is establishing and maintaining balance within yourself and within the household. Simply put, focus on them and on you.
In the past, I’ve been guilty of neglecting myself entirely and solely focusing my attention on the needs and wants of my family. It could be a reckoning I had within myself to atone for moments that I was selfish. Instead of seeing the behaviors I was exhibiting at the time and addressing them, I overcorrected to make up for those mistakes. Often as fathers we too often neglect ourselves for the great good at the detriment of our own personal development. Far too often as dads, we’re made to feel like we should have the playbook memorized years prior to being a father. Most of the time, we’re learning and unlearning as we go. Over these years as a father, I’ve learned that making time for my own growth is a direct benefit to my children. An example would be a recent proud dad moment, when I took the time to teach my daughter, Zora, the basic principles of investing in stocks. She leaps at any chance to make money and is an astute learner. This was only made possible through my countless hours over the years studying investing and the benefits of holding on to various assets.
If mothers are the glue that holds families together, then fathers are the foundation that they are built upon. Us fathers often learn to utilize foresight in various ways to ensure we’re building a lasting legacy for our families. Often that requires us to hold ourselves accountable to certain P&Ps. Not policy and procedures like all of us corporate folks are thinking, but pride and patience. This is where finding a fine balance is so important, because as a father you need your own time to build these skills. There’s something about me hyping my kids up that brings me so much joy. The sense of pride in themselves and in their culture gives me the energy needed to conquer the day. How I define fatherhood now is the lasting impression I give to my children when I make them feel good just being who they are. One of my duties as their dad is to give them continued reassurance that they are more than enough and more than any limitations others or themselves place on them. The second P has been the most challenging, yet delivers a satisfaction that’s difficult to define in words. Patience with them, patience with yourself, and patience with the plan.
Cheers to all of the dads out there! This Father’s Day, not only should you enjoy the big piece of chicken, but enjoy creating calm in the chaos. As you’re firmly rooted in protecting and providing, make sure you are manifesting an environment in which you can thrive as well. As you man the grill, play catch, or provide sound advice, always recognize that this day is for you and about you.
What I’m Listening To
In the spirit of fatherhood, this weekend I’ll be playing “Glory” by Jay-Z. It’s an ode to his first child. You can feel Hov’s excitement as soon as the song starts. It’s an amazing feeling when your first child is born (no offense to subsequent born children) and the newness is so raw and pure. Every time I play this song, it reminds me of the experience of being a part of both of my children’s deliveries. The nervousness, anxiety, and elation is unrivaled. Those were just my feelings, I couldn’t imagine what my wife was going through. She’s the true MVP.
In my efforts to find some differences in Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I went and did some research on United States consumer spending. According to Lending Tree, U.S. consumers spend on average $219 on Mother’s Day compared to $190 on Father’s Day. For all of you children that forgot to get your dad a gift, have no fear. According to Lending Tree’s data, most dads just want quality time with their family as a gift. I have absolutely no faith in their data, but my wife and kids better not come empty handed.
"Yes, it maybe easier to build strong children than repair broken men... but that doesn't mean we should leave men broken." - Jason Wilson