Friday, March 6, 2009

Fatherhood Friday

Welcome to Friday of the Fatherhood variety.

I hate work. I hate work because it takes me away from Niamonster. I hate work because she knows I leave every morning and she hates it. I hate work because it's a whole 9-10 hours that I'm not apart of her life. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my job - I find great personal enjoyment in sitting in front of my dual eye-blistering 26" monitors with a computer that could quad-process the panties off of a Mormon in .12ms, and writing code that is complex and requires a depth of knowledge that most people don't even want to have in the computer world. 

But since Niamonster was born, it somehow isn't about me anymore. So that fact that I'm getting enjoyment out of work at, as what I view, the expense of the raising of my child is something that I've had to think a lot about. 

It just feels that when I say that I'm the "provider" of the family, it feels like a cop-out. Money is such a "blah" sort of thing because when I die I don't get to take it with me - - - so why is it such a focus of a family?

I've been playing a little in my hypothetical head lately. What if I were to just pack up my family, sell almost all of my possessions, hop in my car, and head west? Complete beatnik/hippy style. I know my family has lots of love and common sense so that we really wouldn't need a huge source of income. It's a total "damn the man" feeling, but is it so bad?

Have I become the person that is so wrapped up in material things and status that I've fallen into the stereotype of "provider" who's sole purpose is to go out and make money for his daughter and family?

So here lies the conundrum in my head: How do I balance the "provider", the "protector" and the "lover" into a nice little package called a "great dad"? 

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one. Since I've started introducing myself to other dads who blog, I've noticed that this is a common internal thought within a lot of fathers. 

What "balance" internal wars have you had?

What is your "damn the man" dream?


New-Dad-Blog said...

I lived in ca and moved to nebraska. Trust me, if you're looking to lower your cost of living (and thus dependence on money and the man) go east or at least midwest!

My damn the man fantasy is running a small, mostly outsourced business from home so I can maximize time with the family and have enough money to make a lot of great memories for my little ones to have when I am gone.

Otter Thomas said...

It is a hard balance. I know my family depends on my for money. I also know they depend on my to be a hands on father. I guess no one ever said raising kids was easy.

If I could damn the man I would be a professional beach bum.

ciara said...

i have a husband who is one of those that is gone 12 hours a day...10 for work n 2 for commute time (no. cali). he spends so little time w us. sometimes i get frustrated w him when he's off for more than 2 days cos i have gotten so used to it. we don't have any kids together, but he has one from previous marriage that he has custody of. he's not there for him as much as he'd like to be, but he has been working these hours for a long time. now that my stepson is a teen, he no longer wants to hang out w his dad. makes me feel bad for my husband. hopefully they can still have some kind of special time. i'm a sahm so i'm w the kids all day.

my man's fantasy, or if it had not been the need for stability? prob as a hs or college football/baseball coach.

even with limited time, it's the quality that will make a difference. be there for your kid every chance you get. that's what they'll remember most :)

john said...

Happy fatherhood friday. I hear you around missing things. It really is tough. But either way, loved reading some of your blog.

Jason said...

I did damn the man, and now I'm dealing with 2 little men...

-Justin said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. My balance issues are that my day job doesn't allow for much time to blog, and my 'damn the man' dream is to make enough income blogging/developing my own business that I can run away from the rat race and be a stay at home dad. So until I achieve that reality, I have to juggle both AND the family, which means less sleep for me, but when I achieve my goals, I'll see it as being worth it!
Incidentally, I've been pondering running west myself. Strange that that still seems to hold the promise of a brighter future...

E. Payne said...

Amen to everything you said (including the advanced computer code stuff I have no knowledge of). I spent the first eight weeks of my daughter's life at home and when I returned to work it was as if I entered the Twilight Zone. Work and several other activities away from home lost their flavor.

My damn the man dream is to be able to work independently from home so that by the time the kids wake up (I'm an early riser) I'm all theirs. Nothing spectacular here - no slapping the boss and saying "take this job and shove it," just leaving without any fanfare at all.

Mocha Dad said...

I have to travel for work at least two weeks out of each month. Obviously, I miss my family immensely. I try to make the time I have at home extra special and I use videoconferencing when I'm away.

Super Mega Dad said...

My daughter stays home with me part time during the week while I work from home and part time in daycare. I HATE taking her to daycare as she SCREAMS "NO DADDY! I don't WANT to go to baby school!" Tears me in two everytime. I live for those days she stays home with me and becomes my little office assistant.

My damn the man dream is to get my little side projects off the ground so that I can work from home FULL TIME. Too much damn code!