I am secure enough to admit it. I don’t know if I’m as good a parent as my wife is. That’s not to say I’m a bad parent. Maybe I am.. but I don’t think so. What I mean is that my wife might be better at parenting than me. My wife IS better at parenting than me. There I said it. And you know what? I’m OK with it. She pushes me to be better. She leads by example and some gentle nudging in the same way a mother bear nudges a baby bear to do the right thing.. she gently nudges me in the right direction. Sometimes there’s a roar. Sometimes I roar back. More often than not though it’s just a gentle reminder… a “you know what the right decision is” so just do it. So on this Mother’s Day weekend I started thinking about the things I’ve learned from her along the way:
From my wife I’ve learned about patience.. and that old saying “patience is a virtue have it if you can… often in a woman and seldom in a man”. It’s an old saying because there’s some truth to it. She reminds me to slow down and to take my time and to set aside what I’m doing to enjoy my kids and my wife and my family . In those moments when the girls just drew a flower or a pony or want to show me what they did at school.. THAT needs to be THE most important thing in the world. When I read them a bedtime story and try to hurry them to sleep… there IS time for one more story and one more cuddle. She’s helped me realize that. I spend so much time on the wheel worried about what my destination is, I forget that it’s not about the destination at all but the journey to get there. Patience. She taught me that.
From my wife I’ve learned about sacrifice. While I like to think we have a marriage that is 50/50, the truth about our careers and our family is that I sacrifice more for my job so she sacrifices more for the kids. I work nights. I can be on call. I’ve missed my own birthday party for my job before. Have I gotten better about it? Absolutely. I will leave work now for school events and take off random Fridays to have more time with everyone. Am I all the way there yet? Definitely not.. There’s a give and take in a marriage… a constant juggle to make it all work. When she grabs the bus home from work after dark and picks up the kids up from their after-school and fixes them dinner and gets them ready for bed and has little to no time to herself because she’s then doing work on the couch to help one of her students get into college… Sacrifice. She taught me that.
From my wife I’ve learned about love. She is the one who constantly reminds me about the depth of love a married couple can feel years after they first met. When you wonder if you’ve lost the spark and the romance and spontaneity of new love, she is the one who reminds me about the changing nature of love.. like the Velveteen rabbit which starts out as one thing but as it is worn down more and more eventually becomes the most real thing ever. Love. She taught me that.
Did I just set the dad blogger movement back 20 years? I don’t think so. I’m secure enough in who I am to know I bring some things to the family and my wife brings others and at the end of the day it all works.
My wife is a mother, a lover, a confidant, a fixer, a nurturer, an angelic force with seemingly boundless energy, a teacher of patience and sacrifice and love.. and I wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.
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