My wife and I had a conversation a couple of months ago and she stated, “Our roles have flip-flopped.” At first thought I didn’t know what she meant, but after talking about it I realized that they had and of course me being the me, it took me some time to let it finally sink in. After she brought that to my attention and I stopped being a hard headed butt hole, I finally accepted my role. While I was in the Army, it seemed like I was gone all the time. I was home for 9-12 months then gone for up to 15 months. Our roles haven’t changed in that aspect, but her being the sole bread-winner for our family. Yes, I still financially provide because of my retirement, but I’m working my fingers to the bone anymore. I was the one getting up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning so I could make the drive to base to start my day and wouldn’t see my family again until about 6:00 p.m. that evening. Now she is the one getting up at the butt crack of dawn, driving an hour each way to work a 10-12 hour day. It took me some getting used to. The hard part for me was, I thought I knew my kids, but deep down I didn’t. I’m still learning about them and learning from them everyday. Its crazy how much they grow up in front of you and you never even notice it.
I am now the one that makes sure that they have their school clothes laid out for the next day, I make sure homework is done, I’m the one complaining that there is dishes in the sink, etc. You guys get the picture. I have accepted it and I can honestly say that I enjoy it. I now have the chance to get to know them and they get to know me. Some of you may that doesn’t make any sense, because you’re their father. It makes perfect sense, I knew them, but didn’t know about them, if that makes any sense. A lot of men think that being a father is just being there. That’s not it, a Father is much more than that. I’ve learned that and I am still learning that. It’s a hard job. I’m no father of the year, but I work damn hard to be.
I can say that in the beginning of our relationship all I wanted to do was hang out with my boys, but I had to learn the hard way that being married isn’t just a piece of paper and rings, its like a recipe. If you want that recipe to be good you have to put the right amount and correct ingredients in it. Of course they’re going to be ups and downs, but in your vows it mentions, “For better or for worse”. It took me almost losing the love of my life to realize that I was an idiot and that’s what my children were seeing. I’m not going use the excuse that I didn’t have a father in my life, because I had real men in my life like my uncle that showed me and continues to show me what a real Man, Father, is supposed to be. I know this blog is a bit lengthy, but I hope that you can take something from this and apply it to your life or someone else’s. I hope I wasn’t all over the place and you understood where I was coming from. This is ME. #RDT