This is to all Dad’s out there who have ever questioned themselves.
To care or not to care, that is the question. Of course, it’s only natural you care for your
children, but is there such thing as to care to much? I’ve dubbed this feeling as the
“Super Dad Complex”. What I’m trying to describe is the feeling of inadequacy which can
come in waves as you weigh up what want to do and what the right thing to do is. Basically, I
feel I show my boys as much love and affection as possible whilst being the disciplinarian
when required, but deep down there is always a nagging doubt, a guilt, an anxious feeling
that you’re not doing quite enough!
As a Dad, I feel it is my duty to provide for my family and whilst this is a somewhat outdated
concept in the modern world, it’s how my mind works, nonetheless. But it doesn’t stop there,
I also want to be the “perfect” role model for my children. That's only right isn't it?
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to come from a strong family with loving parents, a gift
which unfortunately is not afforded to everybody. It was the typical bread-winning Dad, Mum
at home scenario.
There is always that mixture of emotions as you grow up through the Teens and you never truly appreciate the sacrifices that they make for you. I think the reason this issue has now reared its head is because I was fortunate enough to be raised in an environment where my Dad played the hero’s role. Yes, we banged heads a lot over the years, but I see now that it’s only natural. As I grew older, I came to realise the sacrifices my parents made to provide me with as many opportunities as possible.
Having seen this throughout my family, it feels like a tough act to follow.
Here and Now
This brings me back to today and the issue of caring too much. Sacrifices have been made
in terms of hobbies, social engagements and of course, free time. This is the act of doing
what you need to do to fulfill your role as Dad. However, I can’t help but wonder that perhaps
I’m playing too much the role of Dad, and not enough of the hero role. Yes, my boys are two
and six months, but as I look forward, when they are that much older and are in school and
mixing with friends etc, what will they be able to say about their Dad that makes him the hero
of their story?
I realise that the here and now is all about providing my time to be around and supporting my wife and kids as they grow, but there will come a time when their nappies won’t need changing, they wont need to be spoon-fed and they are far more independent.
After a recent bout of this feeling, amongst general life stresses, it had me feeling down in a
way I’d not experience before, I found that talking was the best way out. Dad’s, I’m not
saying that if you don’t have this feeling, you don’t care enough, but I’m certain I can’t be the
only one who’s mind this has popped into.
Getting my thoughts down on this blog along with talking with friends / family and especially my wife, has really helped to improve my mental state around this concept. I hope it can help you too.