Why We Do It


I’m just going to throw this out there – kids can be a giant pain in the ass sometimes. Other people’s kids especially, but even your own. More and more frequently I find myself frustrated by a complete inability to accomplish even the simplest of tasks while my daughter is not at school, constant requests for food and nonstop chatter interrupting any train of thought that I attempt to follow. Yesterday I challenged her to a game of “hide and seek” and took a stack of bills that needed paying out to the garage to write out while she was searching the house for me. They got done but now the beer fridge needs to be refilled and I don’t think she’ll agree to a rematch.

I know that I am partly to blame for the situation. Work keeps me away from her most nights of the week and guilt about this has led me to overcompensate somewhat. We’re always on the go, always doing something. I’m pretty sure that I’ve been to the movies more times in the past year than the previous five or six combined.


overcompensating for dad guilt
just here for the popcorn and comfy seats


So today I ran away for a while, took a break from coloring and kid’s television and my four foot extra appendage. Instead I spent the afternoon having lunch with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while, somebody with older kids but still sympathetic to my plight.

I expected to feel guilty while I was out and I did. I expected her to remind me that there would be a time when I would be begging my daughter to spend time with me, to remind me of our own teenager, no longer living at home. I expected her to talk about her children’s father and how much they wished he had been more involved in their lives.

These conversations all happened and I appreciated every word, needed to hear them, but weren’t what ultimately had the greatest effect, what had me hurrying home so that we could get a few hours in at the arcade.

It was my pictures. Like any parent, whenever I run into somebody that I haven’t seen in a while I immediately pull out my phone and start showing them pictures of my kids. Its something parents have been doing long before smartphones but makes for much thinner wallets than it used to.

There were pictures of her roller skating, pictures of her in front of the vampire snowmen that we made last weekend, a few really stupid looking selfies of the two of us that won’t be making my Instagram feed anytime soon. The typical pictures that anybody would have, that we all begrudgingly look at because we know that next time it will be us showing them, that unspoken agreement to smile and tell each other how cute our kids look.

She didn’t comment on my kid’s cuteness, obviously an oversight given how cute my kid actually is, but said something that meant a lot more, something that reminded me why we do it. Why we sacrifice so much time, money and energy on these ungrateful little turds.

“She looks so happy in all these pictures.”



dad guilt
not a bad way to spend a rainy Sunday




32 thoughts on “Why We Do It”

  1. Great post and loved the comment at the end. It is all about raising happy smiling children. Mine are teenagers and hard work so will just be going for happy 🙂

  2. Dude! I know EXACTLY what you mean! The post I posted on Sunday blog share was entitled: Rage Post- You don’t watch my soccer practices. The post before that was “6 reasons the baby years can suck it”. Do you see a pattern here? Frustration my friend. I totally get it. And the chattering. Dear God! I once received a text from a friend and all it said was, “I’m being chattered to death”. It’s so true. You can’t get anything done but when you do, then you think, ‘did I ignore my kid too much?’ I get it!

  3. I read somewhere that the optimal amount of time parents should spend with their kids is 2 hours a day. I don’t know where I read that, but now I wish I’d saved it. A full day of mom/son time can be a lot. So, we plan for some alone time too. An hour or two when he plays Legos and I do whatever I want or need to do.
    I feel as you do, though. Sometimes I take extra long in the bathroom just to have a few moments to myself. And I too need those moments “away” to remind myself that playing another game of UNO isn’t a sacrifice but a joy.

    1. Somebody just bought her a UNO game. I’m not sure if I’m excited to teach her to play or dreading it. Good metaphor for parenting in general I suppose

  4. I think we all feel pulled in lots of directions and guilty about not being with someone enough etc. I agree with your friend she looks really happy on all the pictures so you’re obviously doing it right!

  5. What a gorgeous little girl you have! Your friend is right, she does look so happy and it’s down to you for being a great parent 🙂

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  6. I always feel guilty spending time away from the kids, but we all need a break now and again. Lovely post, and yes, raising happy children is the most important. Thanks for joining in with #ThatFridayLinky

  7. After having five children as you know mate, every age has problems and issues, oh yes I feel like running away for a bit of me time we deserve it so why not. Great read mate don’t be too hard on yourself Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

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