I almost blew it.
I had just gotten focused on my workload for the day, with about 8 things I REALLY needed to get done before the end of the day.
Just as I was getting started, my 8-year-old daughter walked into my office, having just finished her shower, her hair still wet, and wearing one of her prettiest dresses.
In her innocent daddy-loving voice, she asked me the question she usually does when she’s all clean and dressed for the day.
“Daddy, can you brush my hair?”
This dad was just about to respond…
“No, not today, sweetie. I’ve got a lot of work to do. Run back upstairs and brush your hair or ask Mom to help you.”
But right before these words left my brain and proceeded out through my mouth, something grabbed the reigns of my heart and ran a thought to my mind…
“Don’t say that. If you tell her ‘no’, you are communicating to her that your work is more important that she is right now. Is that what you want your daughter to believe today?!”
“Remember, you’ve only got so many more times to brush her hair before she’s too old to ask you. If you don’t do it this time, you’ve lost one of those opportunities.”
As I briefly contemplated this, I knew it was truth. I quickly resolved that probably not all of my “to-do list” would get done today if I made the right choice.
“Sure, I’ll brush your hair” I told her, and proceeded with her purple brush to remove one wet tangle after another until all her golden blonde hair was straight and smooth.
Now, I’m not telling you this story to pat myself on the back, but to encourage YOU with your own children.
When we tell our children “I love you” but our actions communicate otherwise, we confuse our children, damage our credibility with them, and ultimately — over time and repetition — lose their heart.
As Dads, we must make the most of every opportunity to communicate to each of our children how much we love them.
We must show by our actions that they take priority over our work.
There will always be more work to do. But our children are more important.
Image credit: Carl Dwyer
Joey Watkins is the father of 3 children (with the fourth one on the way)! He and his wife Judy live in Atlanta, GA. As founder of FamilyDads.com, Joey’s vision is to help fathers of all ages discover their “father power,” which is the level of influence, or importance they have in the lives and destinies of their children, and to effectively lead, love, serve, and bless their family.
3 thoughts on “[FATHERHOOD] I almost blew it.”
Hey, we can’t be perfect. On the one hand, I feel like I’m a better father if I allow myself time to do things for myself even when it’s just me and the kids. If I allow my boy to take over completely, I might end up resenting him.
On the other hand, you’re right. Too often I forget my kid’s emotional needs. When they move past the infant age, and they don’t want to just fall asleep on your chest, you forget they still need you.
I can so totally relate… I have to stop myself in those times and remind myself that they won’t always be young and I need to take advantage of the moments now… great write-up!