During the time when I had literally enforced a self imposed exile on myself, where I couldn’t deal with the everyday things that a father of two should be able to do, that it is his duty to do. Some father’s I guess would give everything to live their lives under the same roof as their children, I had that, but I lost the glory of it because I could not deal with it all.
My kids are good kids, like any kids they can be a handful, but by no means are they “problem children”, they are not little tearaways, they are just kids after all.
But I found as I descended deeper into the darkness that I found myself in, the simple things were getting harder to deal with, I was barely able to deal with any little problem without the need for reaching for a drink, then once I had taken a drink I hid behind it and took myself away from the problem rather than facing it head on and dealing with it.
So kids being kids, two siblings falling out, just as I did with my sister when we were their age, was for me a big problem that I couldn’t deal with rationally. I would either explode, overreact to the situation and just make things worse, or I just couldn’t deal with it, I would hide my head in my hands and mutter incoherently to myself, at times like that only a drink could calm me down, it was my medication of choice.
So only a matter of weeks after I had stopped drinking, changed my life and accepted Jesus and God into my life, I found myself in a situation I could never of dealt with only weeks before.
Looking after my two kids alone one night, my daughter came up to me with a nose bleed, personally I’ve never had a nose bleed in my life, even after all the blows to the nose I’ve taken doing karate I’ve never had a full on nose bleed. My son gets them, but I’ve never dealt with them, his Mum always dealt with that, until he learnt to deal with them himself, I was never able to deal with it. But this time I had no choice, my six year old daughter had a nose bleed and it was time for me to do what is expected of a father, deal with it, to look after your own child.
Well, I’ve seen enough nose bleeds in my time so I just did what I’ve seen others do and eventually stopped the bleeding and cleaned her up. That was an amazing feeling, I was doing the father thing and if I don’t say so myself, doing it well for once.
But it didn’t stop there, no sooner had I got back down stairs, my son came to me with his homework that he was struggling with, so we sat down and did it together, whilst doing so my daughter came with her homework too, ok, let’s form a queue here then. So we completed my son’s first set of homework, he then pulled out a second set, so we completed that too. Then my daughters homework, we completed that together also.
So in one night, one nose bleed sorted and three sets of homework completed, well my comment on Facebook that night was that I felt like a “proper Dad tonight then”.
The feeling was fantastic, it really was the first time I had dealt with anything like this, I’ve helped with the odd bit of homework here and there, but to sort out a nose bleed and then sit down together spending time doing homework, well it was the first time I’ve felt like I was truly a father. Only a few weeks previous there would be no chance I could deal with anything like this, but now I look forward to doing it again (well maybe not the nosebleed).
Everything I’ve built
Is gonna turn to dust and just wash away
so I’ll be soaking in
Everyday you give
Cause this is what it is
How we’re meant to live
(Almost Missed This Moment by Revive)
I know both my kid’s teachers, both of them have been family friends for a long time, after posting on Facebook that we had completed the homework together, I could only hope it was correct after that, luckily I think it was!
I still struggle sometimes to deal with my kids, I still find I can lose control easily, sometimes I can step back, count to ten and deal with it, other times I do have to find my own space, take myself off to a quiet place and pray for help.
I love my kids and I wouldn’t want to be without them, I’m working on being able to cope with them and spend more time with them. Kid’s aren’t easy and even the best behaved of kids will test the patients of their parents, but I’m not going to hide away anymore and leave my partner to deal with everything, I know now it’s my time to step up to the plate and be counted, to be the parent my kids deserve.