My son Connor and I were at our local hockey rink when he asked to go into the hockey shop to just “look” so I said sure. He picked up this hockey stick that had the Chicago Blackhawks logo on it. He said to me that if he makes the hockey team next year can he get it and I of course said “maybe we will see.” I recently had a light bulb go off as this event popped back into my head.
In August of this year I decided to do something that several of my family members told me that I made a stupid choice. I quit my job as a software trainer because I wanted to do something crazy like spend more time with Connor. When he asked for the stick I knew that because I have not been able to land another job that money for me is very tight but I do not want to be the type of dad who says maybe. I understand that I also do not want to spoil my son either but my point is how I have felt not just being a dad but a man how I have let my son down. I want to be a better provider to him.
Yes my quitting my job was a very emotional decision and yes it has added more stress in my life but I would not change it. Not only have I had more days with Connor but we have bonded even closer these past few months. I made sure that he has gifts to open for Christmas and even though his moms house he will have more I again would not trade my time with him for having a job I hated.
I want to eliminate “maybe” or “maybe we will see” from my vocabulary. I want to be a better dad, a better provider and a better person over all. I have a some tough personal issues that I need to get through in these coming months but I have met so many positive dads this year that have told me that what I did took some “stones” but would love to spend more time with their kids as well. That is wonderful validation to just prove that dads are not always thinking about the office. I have become friends with one dad from Connor’s hockey team who picks up his son every day from school. I know of other dads who make it a priority of being the one who picks up the kids from school, come on how cool is that?
Instead of saying maybe when our kids want to spend extra time with us or want something within reason let’s just spoil them a little. We as dads have had such bad reputations from the media and in some cases from former spouses. However we can change this perception today. One of my hero’s was Jim Rohn who was a great business leader and speaker. He talks about how people think that we have plenty of time to do things. NO! We only have so many years left to spend with our kids. I want you to at least think about my proposal but don’t say “maybe” you will or “we will see” instead just make a stance.Comments, concerns or verbal abuse send them to me please and thank you.
(Tommy Maloney is the author of the book “25 Tips for Divorced Dads: How to create special memories and grow your bonds with your children” He can be contacted 303.263.3118 or firstname.lastname@example.org)