2018 17 July :: 9.57 pm
I Kind of Hate Being a Dad
Kinda weird to read, right?
Weirder to write.
Don't get me wrong here, it's not that I hate my kids, that's farther from the truth.
I hate being a dad.
I have four kids, and I guess the term is "stair-step"?
They are 5, 4, 3, and 5 months at the time of me writing this, and it's hard to imagine life without them.
I have this tendency, though, to not get the best of my emotions... and sometimes those emotions drive.
I'll yell about stupid stuff like cleaning their room, I'll punish them for having an attitude or talking back; it drives me crazy when they ignore what I'm telling them or when I'm trying to get their attention.
All this time, I fail to remember that they are 5, 4, and 3 (the 5 month old doesn't know that part of me yet, or at least has not been on the receiving end).
I sent my kids to bed tonight angry because they weren't going to sleep... again, failing to remember that they are 5, 4, and 3.
I yelled. They cried. I yelled some more; they went to sleep, and I feel like trash.
So I did what every parent does then they want to figure out why they are such a sucky parent: I Googled "why am I angry all the time?"
What I found shocked me.
An article popped up that caught my eye: Irritable Depression: When Sadness Feels Like Anger (I'll leave a link at the end).
What I read took me off guard. I am angry, and on a hair-line trigger in my home... because I'm depressed.
I'm depressed that I didn't think I'd be at this point in my life -married five years with four kids at 29.
I'm depressed that I'm not where I saw myself being ten years ago -holding a steady and well-paying career, with maybe a kid or two. I'm depressed that I have a beer gut and barely drink beer. I'm depressed that I feel like my four kids hate me... and I hate that.
James 1:19 - "So then, my friends, let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."
Ephesians 6:4 - "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but raise them and train them in admonition of the Lord."
It is clear in scripture that God does not want us to let anger control our actions. We should have control over what we do, and when we say we love God, our actions should reflect that confession of faith; when any emotion is taking the helm of our actions -whether it be anger, sadness, anything like that- it's not a good thing.
It is also clear that it is hard to understand the character of God that is defined as a Father, until you become a father yourself.
We, as God's children, do things we know we shouldn't do over and over again -a lot of the time the same exact thing, over... and over again. It's one thing to experience this dynamic when you are the one constantly needing mercy and grace... but when you're the one who has to constantly give it, we find far too often that we are like that servant to the king in one of Jesus' parables where the servant owed the king an unplayable debt, but the king showed mercy and grace by obsolving the debt, but when the servant was the one collecting a debt, he showed no grace, no mercy, and in fact was angry and sinned.
As I'm writing this I feel like crap for being this way to my children.
What I have done is let my emotions get the better of me and control me; what I have done is not show the character of God to my children very well.
What I have done, is sinned: against my children, and against God.
I said I hate being a dad, and in a way I do.
I hate that my actions are being observed and absorbed constantly by carbon-based copies of myself.
I hate that I have to teach things like saying "please" and "thank you" all the while wonder where they got the concept of "mine" and "no."
I hate that being a dad is so hard.
And not that I abhor hard work, but being a parent is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.
I love my kids, though.
I hug them when they are hurt.
I give them morning tickles, every morning.
I make them coffee at church.
I comb and brush their hair.
I get sad when I have to go to work and give them a hug goodbye.
I get so happy to hear "DADDY!!!" when I first step out of my car getting back from work.
I love reading the Bible to my children every night.
I love getting pictures of the silly stuff my wife and kids do at home while I'm gone.
I could not imagine my life without my children.
I'd be sad if they were gone. I'm sad when they go to grandpa's for a weekend.
I say I kind of hate being a dad, but what I really mean by that is that it hurts being a dad. It hurts a lot: it requires so much of you, for so long.
It's got high heights and low lows.
It hurts... bad.
But.... it's so worth it.
Tomorrow I'm going to make things right; expect an update.