Oh yes, it’s true – in honor of Father’s Day this month That Dad Dominic is making an appearance on the blog today!
When Dom and I got married way back when (we’re just 14 months away from TEN YEARS!) I imagined that he would be a wonderful father, but now, seeing him in action, it’s pretty much a dream come true. Dominic is rocking fatherhood and I’m so proud he’s my partner in parenting. He might not always say the perfect thing (who does?) or remember every princess’ name (there really are quite a few!), but Dominic has a heart of gold in the fatherhood department. I’m so excited for you all to hear a bit straight from him. Jemma, Max, and Reid are the luckiest littlest to have this guy in their corner. And well, I’m pretty lucky to call him mine too.
And now, That Dad Dominic …
Parenting is one of the most physically and mentally draining responsibilities I’ve had in my 30 years on this earth. At times, it is easy for me to think back on the days before parenthood. When my life revolved around me and that was – mostly – okay. That is until my wife and I were married. But let’s be honest, being married with no kids was a piece of cake. I mean, what did we even do with all that spare time?
I say all this at the risk of sounding like a burnt out, remorseful father. The prior may be true; however, I have no remorse. Just the other night, at the tail end of the bedtime routine the thought ran across my mind to quickly wrap things up, get downstairs and relax in the quiet. I had just put in a long, stressful day at the office so nothing sounded better to me than that recliner positioned squarely in front of a 42-inch widescreen. I don’t know what bedtime is like at your home but at my house, it can feel like a marathon. While I am not a distance runner, I have done power lifting in my past and the ‘pre-game’ warm up rivals that of what I do before bedtime. I pump myself up and get in a good mental state – I can even hear the chorus of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” play in my head. Gretchen and I tend to divide and conquer at bedtime. She sends me a kid or two for teeth brushing while she wrangles the baby into pajamas. Then one of us reads a story. Then it’s choosing clothes for the next day, songs and prayers and finally, snuggles and lights off. All the while I am usually thinking about what TV series I want to check up on, or what I can do to help around the house, sometimes, I never make it that far and crash into bed at the same time as the kids.
But, back to the other night, in that moment, when I was trying to swiftly wrap up the bedtime routine I thought, “this is what life is all about”. I just stopped and really soaked in the moment while looking at my 5-year-old daughter laying there in bed, face like an angel without a care in the world.
And that’s when it dawned on me, it’s all worth it. They are all worth it. This is why my alarm clock goes off at 3:30am for work, this is why I rush home after a long day, this – quiet, one on one moments happening right here in my daughter’s bedroom – is why I do just about everything it is that I do. Because these people, my wife and children, are my number one priority. It’s them I miss during out of town work trips, it’s them I try to plan our future for, it’s them who I sacrifice for and it’s them who bring me true joy in life. Moments like this are the ones that matter and make all the exhaustion and craziness worth it.
In no time, my little 5-year-old is going to be walking down the aisle and these simple moments are what I will remember. Extending those brief minutes during bedtime to sing my little girl one extra song, or read her one extra book, or give her one extra hug and kiss. Fatherhood is harder than I ever imagined but when I take the opportunity on nights like this, I remember and never doubt that it’s all worth it.
I’m pretty sure Dominic’s bedtime experience resonates with every parent on the planet – exhausting, but oh so worth it. I constantly find myself saying “Hurry, hurry, hurry” through many aspects of our day only to follow it up with “Time! Freeze! Don’t let them grow up so fast!” Uh. Parenting. It’s such a paradox.
This Father’s Day, as a small way to help our kids say “thank you” to the awesome dad in their life, be sure to snap a photo that celebrates those sweet little moments of parenting. The ones that scream, “It’s all worth it”. Then, share it on Instagram and be sure to tag your photo with #GrowingUpGerber. It just might be featured as a Gerber pic of the week!