When envisioning fatherhood, it isn’t a stretch to say that guys like to imagine being a fun dad.
In public, you come across many different kinds of parents. Some of the seemingly happiest are the ones that are carefree, playful, and forgiving. Everyone is different, but I would imagine that when many young men imagine fatherhood for themselves, they do so by envisioning tossing their baby in the air, playing catch out back, and razzing their kids about girls/boys.
As it often is, the reality is a bit different than what you may see out and about or imagine in your mind. Renowned philosopher and boxer, Mike Tyson once said something along the lines of “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” In parenting, the punch in the face is more like: getting vomited on, being up all night, and foregoing fun activities.
You can’t just be a “fun dad” 24/7 – that just isn’t realistic. You will need to get your hands dirty, dive in on chores and blown-out diapers, console worn-out kids and/or their mom, and (in my experience) sweat at all hours of the day. So much sweat. All the sweat.
So being just the fun dad at all times is probably just not going to happen. Every literal second won’t always be fun.
What a downer right? Don’t worry, I’ve found that as a dad, there is so much silver lining lying around that you could probably use it all to make a good 25 to 30 swords. Those may not be useful in this day and age, but would still be pretty dope.
The good (great, actually) news is that though there are so many ways to remain a fun dad in all situations, even if every single moment is a stretch. The biggest key is to smile. Happiness and humor are applicable in almost all situations. Humor less-so, as sometimes s*** can get pretty real/devastating, but you know what I’m getting at.
Discipline is admittedly something with which I have little experience, as my son only just turned one. Those times aren’t “fun dad” times, but teaching opportunities, which are much more important. Being an ally for your child is a better goal than being their friend. I mean, you can still be their friend too. I’m just saying. Priorities.
Positivity is important because your kids are always looking at you and learning. Even when things aren’t fun, be positive, encouraging, and understanding.
Those parents that always seem upbeat, laid-back, and fun are having tough times too that you don’t always see. Kids are hard, but also rewarding, and yes, a ton of fun. A fun dad that is also a good dad is being positive and energetic with his kids, but also helpful, constructive, and serious when need be.
If you are a good dad, then you are already interacting in positive ways with your kids daily, so you will be a fun dad too. So, don’t focus on being carefree and fun; focus on being the involved, well-rounded good dad that your kids need.
Good luck with that, the vomit, and the sweating. So much sweating.