Friday Nights – Then and Now

When my ex and I split up, my kids were four and one-and-a-half. Our arrangement was I had them every Friday night and she had them Saturday nights. Let’s just say every Friday afternoon I started looking forward to busting out of work and getting home for some real quality time with my babies. Those nights were sweet – lots of Disney movies in bed, princess nightgowns, feety pajamas, bottles of milk, sucking on pacifier sounds,¬†falling asleep in my arms – you know the deal.

My kids are now 12 and 8, so Friday nights are a lot different. Sleepovers, meeting friends at the movies, iPhones behind closed doors, hours of Minecraft, etc. All things that don’t involve me. But every once in a while the stars align and the three of us are home, and actually together. God, I love those nights (unfortunately, this isn’t one of them).

This started me thinking what will Friday nights be like in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years? Will anything ever replace those early Friday nights? I have asked my parents, but geezus, things were so different back then. Like most of you, my dad never fed me, changed my diaper, put me to bed or any of the things I do (or used to do) on a daily basis. They can’t relate. I’m still single and date a bit, but it’s not a focus for me now and I don’t think any women can ever replace the love and joy I feel for my kids. Or those Friday nights.

.Bedmates

Now

Being a divided dad

I am a divided dad. I assume we are all divided at least one way or another – either internally or pulled by external forces. And often we are unknowingly torn between right and wrong. Only because we just don’t know any better. Ya know, being a dad is more art than science.

And why am I a divided dad and not a divided person, or a divided man? The answer is simple. I am a dad. And when you are a dad, that is what you are. And being a dad is way different than being a father. Being a father is a physical thing. Being a dad is emotional, mental, spiritual and any other “al” you can think of.

My own external divisions come from being divorced, employed full-time and occasionally being a boyfriend. They all affect being a dad. Being a dad is 24/7. It doesn’t end when your ex picks up the kids, or when you enter your office, or when you are out on a date (especially if you don’t turn off your cell phone!). So, everything you do affects being a dad. Some weigh heavier than others. Trust me, having my kids meet my first girlfriend was way heavier than bringing them to the office. But I do try to do things for me. Painfully so, often. I do so considering how it affects them, but I don’t make myself a non-issue. I wasn’t like that at first. I erred quite a bit to one side of the equation.

I am not starting this blog so I can tell other dads how to be a dad. I am here to share the joys, experiences, thoughts, insights and feelings about being a dad. I just got back from Dad 2.0 and was incredibly inspired by those I met and heard speak. So thanks to @dadscribe, @robcandy, @jeffpulver, @homeanduncool, @blackhockeyjesus, @whithonea, @brenebrown, @canadiandad, @dadscribe, @busydadblog, @thedaddycomplex, @cc_chapman, @playgroundlords, and @howtobeadad