Sunday, August 4, 2013

Celebrate Fatherhood: My Kids Teach Me About Who I Am | Guestpost by Daddy Lawyer of Characterist LLC

Sakura Haruka is not a blog just about celebrating motherhood. It shares the joys {& frustrations!} of parenting and of families as a whole. Inspired by my hubby's thoughts on being a dad, Celebrate Fatherhood is thus a monthly series where daddies from all walks of life share insights about what fatherhood means to them, and how we can appreciate their role in a family too.

I sincerely thank all those who took the time to guest post for me. Most of those I approached were very supportive and enthusiastic about this new series, sharing my belief that being an involved dad, and getting the dads involved, is important in building a strong family. If you have a story to share, please email me at sakuraharuka {at} live {dot} com.

I never actually wanted kids.

I didn’t not want them either. I just never got to the “I’m ready to be a dad” stage. In my mind, I was still a boy, when my wife decreed (the majority of decisions in my family are by way of wifely decree) that it was time to have kids.

Things moved rather quickly. We were pregnant, we looked for a new place to live, we bought stuff (a lot of stuff, mostly by decree). I was too caught up in the excitement and planning to actually realise what was happening- that I was going to be a dad.

Some 7 months into the pregnancy, we got some bad news. The baby wasn’t getting enough nutrition in the womb, potentially affecting the baby’s physical development and, in the worst-case scenario, brain development as well.

A few days after we got the news, I was in a store looking for clothes for the baby. I remember looking at the tiny newborn- sized clothes and realising that our child would, in all likelihood, not even fit in those. As I stood there, unable to move or even lift my head for fear of people seeing my face, I cried for a child I hadn’t even met.

In hindsight, I guess that was when I started being ready. Four years on and it feels like I’ve been a dad for as long as I can remember. My 2 kids (we had another one because my daughter needed a henchman) bring me endless joy and I love them more than life itself.

Am I a good dad? It depends. I do what I have to to get by. I bribe, I cajole, I encourage and I issue threats like I’m North Korea. There is plenty of screaming, shouting and sulking- sometimes the kids do it too. There are days when I feel like I can do anything a la Vin Diesel in the Pacifier, and there are days when all I want to do is drop them off at an orphanage for an hour so I can drink beer and watch TV.

I think my most important job as a dad is to make sure my kids grow up to be good people. Not necessarily smart, successful, or educated. My job is to teach my kids to be strong. To tell the truth even if it means trouble. To understand what it means to be entrusted with duties and responsibilities. To never give up. To love their mother.

In return, my kids have taught me a whole lot. You see, kids are mirrors. Everything they say and do, every little spark of genius or snarky smart-ass comment came from somewhere. And that somewhere is usually their Mom and Dad. So even as I try to teach my kids what little I know about life, my kids teach me about who I am.

I told my wife the other day that I love my kids the most when they are away, or asleep. Even now, as the little ruffians have collapsed into bed and peace has returned to the world, I am reminded that, while I have a huge responsibility, I have been truly blessed beyond measure.

Adrian is a lawyer by trade but would much rather be playing golf. He is a director at Characterist LLC and writes at E.Legal Activities. The best part of his day is coming home to his wife, Delphine, and his kids, Anya and Adam.

After being a mum for 4 years, it feels like I've been one for a long time too. With time comes experience, but I never claim to be a parenting expert. I'm still trying to be the best mum I can be to my daughter, learning from other parents, and of course, from my daughter herself. Each child is different so rather than trying to compare and be the parent that somebody else is, it's better to be the parent that your child wants. After all, while we try to teach our kids all about life, they teach us what life is truly about.

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Siting said...

They look great in their Peranakan outfits!

Ai Sakura said...

Ya I love it too :)

An Apel a Day said...

I love the photo!

My husband stays with the kids more than I do right now. No the house isn't clean when I get home, but there is always some sort of train track built up that covers our living room floor. A sign that he cares.