It’s an afternoon in the Divadom and my wife is working, that means that I am the head honcho, the one and only guy in charge, or am I? Living in a home full of glitz and sequins I find that there are days when I think I am in control and in fact I find myself stuck somewhere in between, or in a place that sometimes feels like Dad purgatory. Have you ever been in this same place? Where you make rules and they are tested, you make punsihments, but they don’t seems to make a difference? Yes, this is the land I call Dad purgatory.
I find this a hard place to be at times, because I want to be a good parent. I want the respect of my children, but it is hard at times to get to that point. I keep looking for the do-it-yourself manual when I go to the bookstore in the parenting section, but alas, there are many that have tried, but I have never found the one true guide that is the sure fire fix.
I find that this sense of dad purgatory sets in even further when a childs’ friends comes over. Sometimes these friends can bring out the best in our children and sometimes the worst (I always pray for the best of course). When you not only have to parent your own child but the child or children of other parents who may not have the same rules that you hold your own children to. Alas, this is still the bane of a parent’s life as it will continue as long we remain parents, right?
So for me Dad Purgatory remains, but I attempt to break down its walls every day, making it easier and easier to strive to be a better parent and father… only time will tell if I am successful, but I sure hope I am!
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you do to keep yourself going and whether you have ever fell into this realm of Dad Purgatory as I have labeled it…
4 thoughts on “Being Stuck in Dad Purgatory”
I find myself there all the time. I have 2 daughters that spend 50% of the time with me and my 2nd wife and 2 stepdaughters (father died several years ago) that are with us 100% of the time. Being the father figure for 4 girls (ages 14 to 9) I find that I struggle all the time trying to balance being a good parent, being respected as a father and also dealing with 2 mothers. I am either ‘just a dad’ which means I don’t understand or ‘not the dad’ which means I don’t understand.
As for what I do to keep myself going? I believe deep down that I am a good father and trust that all 4 girls will be better people for having me in the lives. I’ve kinda given up on the hope of one day having them wake up and appreciating that I’ve been there for them. I’ve learned to accept that I can’t control that. All I can control is that I keep being a positive role model in their lives and that I can wake up in the morning and look in the mirror being happy with who I am and what I have become. The rest will take care of itself.
I think Paul used all the words I could have. I strive harder and harder to be a better dad. I fail more because of this too. But I learn. Learning, little by little, is the key out of it. I am still stuck there as well. But one day, all of the learning, trial and error, and failure, will allow me to be the dad that isn’t in purgatory any longer. Great post Chris!
Oh yeah! And glad to have you back on the site again!
I have two teens so I’d be grateful for “Purgatory” since I live a bit further south MUCH of the time!