Recently I was approached by an acquaintance asking for some advice. He said I inspire him to be a better dad. He is a new, young father and just getting used to the changes that come along with fatherhood.
I’m ﬂoored he was asking for advice. I don’t consider myself an expert, a lot of times I’m aiming from the hip and just make sure what I do is in the best interest of my minions.
When I asked what he needed help with, he asked for ideas how he can make more money so he can be a better dad without working endless overtime. He said he felt that he needed to bring home more ﬁnances to be a better dad, but mama bear is upset he spends too much time working and not enough time with them.
This shook me at the core, mainly because he thought he needed more money to be a better dad. I explained to him my point of view: making or having more money doesnt make you a better dad.
My biological father was a doctor and he’s a worthless piece of trash for many reasons, and having/making more money didn’t justify the other deﬁcits.
From this life experience I have learned spending more time with my kids is more valuable than an extra few dollars. Working passionately for the required work hours is important, but being able to “turn off” work mode and spend time with the little one(s) is more important.
My parenting situation may be different than the next guy, but we all do our best (in most cases, we all know of an intentional deadbeat parent somewhere).
Comparing our situations and saying someone else does parenting “better” isn’t fair. That’s why I don’t call myself the best dad. Someone’s ability or inability to provide ﬁnancially/emotionally/physically shouldn’t hinder their portrayal as a great parent.
We went deep in conversation deciphering his thought process and my theory on fatherhood. I get it, being ﬁnancially stable is very important. But at a point there are things that money cannot buy.
Bringing home an extra $100 from overtime cannot amount to the value of hearing your child’s ﬁrst words, it doesn’t equate to seeing your son score his ﬁrst goal or see their performances at school.
In the end I told him that bringing home a little bigger paycheck is not going to make him a better dad, but spending more time at home doesn’t make him a better dad either.
He looked at me confused in silence, then I explained to him that I obviously understand spending less time working doesn’t make more money.
However, it gives him the opportunities to be the best dad more.
And in my book, being home with my littles more each day is trade-off I’d take every time.