Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Perfect Father, Not

I always wanted to be a good daddy, to be the hero in the eyes of my kids, to be the “perfect” father. In fact, many people have asked how I managed to cope so well with 4 kids and have all the energy to bring them out every weekends etc.  The truth is I can’t, at least not that well and I probably would not have this many kids if we do not have family support, especially my mom-in-law who helps with the household chores and the baby.

I have no problem changing diapers, feeding the kids, bathing them and playing the fool with them, but I also have an extremely short fuse, a bad temper.  My wife and kids, unfortunately had to bear the brunt of it when I go crazy.  I am not proud to admit it, but I am trying to change.  I do not show it outwardly, at least not in front of other.  I always try to put on a front, and I try to portray as the “perfect” father, the one that others would approve of.  What irony!  Caring so much about what other think of me, even though they wouldn't give a hoot to my very existence and I ended up hurting the very people I should be protecting and loving.  Change required. 

There was this one day that my wife worked late and I had to take care of all 4 kids myself.  I had just given all of them a bath, and Leroy and Louie needed their milk fix.  I prepared their milk but Leroy demanded I be faster and kept complaining.  Then at the corner of my eyes, I saw Steffi opening the fridge and taking out a packet of cold milk.  I asked who it was for, she said it was for Stacci and I warned her not to let Stacci drink in the bedroom as she walked out.

When I finished bottle feeding Louie, I realized that it was really quiet and when I walked into the room, I found out that Stacci had spilled her milk onto the bed!  I got angry, I scolded Stacci and shouted out to Steffi and questioned her why she allowed Stacci to drink milk on the bed!  She replied that she didn't hear me and when I came out of the bedroom, I saw that Louie had regurgitated his milk onto the floor as well.  Darn another mess to clean and Leroy had to gloat about what the others had just done.  Then, I stepped onto Leroy’s toys that were scattered on the floor.  I could not control it anymore, I snapped, I went crazy, I shouted at my kids and I could see terror in their eyes.

After my outburst, Stacci cried, Leroy cried, and Steffi shed a few tears.  When I cooled down later, I felt extremely ashamed.  I asked Steffi over and I told her these very words, “Jie Jie, I am sorry, I shouldn’t have shouted at you. Can you forgive me?”  Upon hearing this she burst into tears and her reply was heart-wrenching for me.  She said in-between sobs, “Daddy, I know you don’t mean to shout at me.  It was because I was naughty and did the wrong things.  I know you are feeling tired because you worked very hard for us.”  My heart sunk, and I hugged her long and hard, hoping that she would forgive me totally.

Book In The Mail 

By sheer coincidence, I received a book a couple of days after the incident, just as I started writing this post.  The book was aptly named, “How to be a Hero Dad” by Johnny Ong and it couldn't have been timelier.  The book was presented in the form of 70 easy-to-read tips and reading them reinforced what I had been doing right all these while and yet reminded me on what I had forgotten, or could have done better too.  Tips like punishing the behaviour, not the child, and never stop romancing their mom.  I would recommend this book to all daddies out there, as a reference to what being a father entails.

This is not a story book but a “how to” book.  Straight to the point and easy to read.  We can never be the “perfect” dads, but we can surely work towards being the heroes in our kids’ eyes! You can get your hands on this good read directly from Armour Publishing.  

2 comments :

  1. I know how it feels. Parenting is not easy. I believe that you love your kids very much and they know that. Keep on keeping on!! =)

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    1. Thank you for your support, fellow daddy! :)

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