Note: An earlier version of this post was previously published as a guest blog for gDiapers as part of their "It Takes Guts" Father's Day promotion back in June.
When I became a Father for the first time back in 2009 (on our 10th Wedding Anniversary!), I entered into the job without much by way of expectation. I was excited to be a Dad, but there wasn’t any real or definitive outlook for how the experience would actually be. I didn’t enter into Fatherhood with the “fear” that some seem to put forth, nor did I have any grand plans for how those first days would be. Sure, there was preparation (and a lot of nesting), but I steered clear of the parenting books, and somehow managed to miss the fact that “Parent Blogging” was even a thing.
What I’m saying, is that my wife and I entered into parenthood by winging it. Actually, she was probably better-prepared than I.
Our oldest daughter turned four this summer, and our youngest is 17-months-old as of this month. Just over four years into this (51 months, to be exact), and we’re still winging it – meeting each challenge with instinct – but I think we’re doing alright. The girls seem to be turning out well (sans the occasional tantrum here and there), and above all, we’re a happy family. As parents, my wife and I put our kids first, and that’s how it should be … and I hope that it will pay off in the long haul. There’s no such thing as perfection, but we strive to be the best that we can, just as I believe most parents do.
Over the years, I’ve had and have chased a lot of different gigs. What I didn’t fully realize until just after my oldest daughter’s first birthday in 2010, was that I’d already scored the greatest gig of all – being a Dad. It was my calling.
In the space between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year, I’d seen a lot of talk about parents “having it all” come floating across my timeline on twitter and facebook. This week, it sorta flared-up again, like a rash that just won't go away. I’ve taken a quick glance at a few of the articles and blogs, and beyond the pot-stirring, traffic-bait that fuels much of the “discussion” throughout the new media landscape, what I’ve been struck by is the overwhelming feeling that many of the most vocal parents put forth a depiction of parenting that poorly reflects families like my own, and thus paints the modern American family as being focused more on the interests of the parents than the kids. I don’t believe that this is the norm, and that the white noise created by the combined voices of those who create controversy where there is none just doesn’t matter. Is parenting easy? No. Is it hard? Sometimes. But being a parent is far from a burden.
“You Want It All But You Can’t Have It…” – words from what is undoubtedly the most well-known (but far from best) songs from my absolute favorite band of all-time: FAITH NO MORE. Words with which I have to disagree.
If “happiness” is “all,” then yes, you CAN have it all. And I have it.
Being a parent doesn’t take guts, but sometimes it seems that it takes guts to say that.
For All the Parents Who Rock, I Salute You.
PS... how about watching FAITH NO MORE's 1990 performance of the aforementioned "Epic" on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE with John Goodman? Why not?
About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.