Here at The Dad Network, we’re inviting a few other dads to share their experience of dadhood. We’re fortunate enough to have found some fantastic dad bloggers to do some writing and share themselves and their life with us. This is their first post, so enjoy reading about their experience of being a dad, from their unique perspective. Be sure to keep an eye out for more of their posts and check them out on Twitter & other social media.
As an adoptive dad I do exactly the same as ever other dad, the mundane and the marvellous, routine and ridiculous.
I do what I have to do like any other father.
Contemporary UK adoption is not the “Annie” fairy tale of relinquished children living happy ever after with Daddy Warbucks.
So, my children come with a history, with experiences that I can barely imagine. With separation, loss and trauma being the common denominators for each of their adoption stories. With the shadows of those experiences often falling into our daily lives we have to parent differently, therapeutically, counter intuitively. We manage fears and anxieties, hyper vigilance, medical and attachment problems to name but a few.
However, I do what I have to do like any other father.
Yes, an adopter we’ve had to prove ourselves, our parenting capacity, resilience and attitudes to parenting have been assessed. We’ve gone before a panel to be approved and we’ve given ourselves to the intrusive process. We’ve opened our lives to Social Workers.
But once the children arrive I’m like every other dad, I worry if I’m doing the right thing, if I’m messing my kids up, will be ok as a dad.
I worry for their futures and hope for the best.
Like I said, I’m like every other dad, I do what I have to do.
In my 9 months thus far of fatherhood, being a dad can not be summed up into one word, sentence, or even statement. Being a father is something you are thrusted full speed into regardless of how ready you think you are. Being a father is more than just “being”, it’s doing, it’s planning, it’s worrying, it’s thinking, it’s loving, its joy, it’s growth, it’s “it.” It’s having a mini therapist in your home following you around making you look at your own “stuff” in the mirror and deciding if you will abandon the behaviours that don’t work, embrace the things that do, forgive those you held grudges against, love those who you did not love before and address those issues you buried years ago.
It puts the pursuit of goals into a new perspective, it’s seeing and feeling that you have less money but find you spend more of it on things that really do matter, it’s having that moment of clarity in seeing your short comings and learning to accept them so you can teach your child how to accept theirs. It’s then building up your child’s strengths so you can be comfortable with the things they take on after you and the things they go at alone. It’s the freaking best thing and the scariest thing when you think of how scary it is. The rest of the time it goes by so quick you really can’t stop and think of how much you will shape the world of anther person. Who by the same token is shaping you along the way too.
Neil – Daddy Bent Legs