Whatever your family upbringing looked and felt like, your experience as a father represents a new beginning. Embrace it.
If you experienced your parents’ divorce first hand, if you were abused, if you were neglected or spoiled, it matters not.
You’re roll in the life of your son or daughter as an active and cognizant parent trumps everything.
If your early-life story is on par with Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting, or significantly less so and you were simply let down by one of your parents, again I say it matters not when you are baptized as a parent.
You possess the means to course-correct your family’s lineage. You can start anew, and if you fixate yourself on righting a wrong and deliver on the promise of providing a better life for your child, you are a father worthy of respect.
You will move forward in your later years knowing you did the best you could do. The sense of purpose you espouse as an engaged parent who cares and loves for a child without reservation—that is the true measure of success.
The father who exclusively sets his sights on money, fortune, and achieving ‘American Dream’ and who fails to light a brighter torch for the next generation has missed the mark. No amount of money will heal the wounds you incurred during your childhood. It is earned by committing yourself to be the best parent you can be.
You have a higher calling and a tougher road compared to other men who were raised in two-parent families. You have to be better, more determined, and more focused on that small child sleeping in his or her bedroom. Your mission is to accept the responsibility of being a great parent. It is a more challenging road compared to those who had (or have) support from their own dads, but the rewards provide a means to an end.
And that ‘end’ is a stable family unit, which speaks volumes of the man you have become.
I wrote this when I came across an old photo I posted on Facebook recently. The love I have for my son, from day one until he was three (in this picture) and through today… is boundless. It has been an honor and a privilege to parent him. That is why I wrote Rookie Father.
You are not alone; You have the means to be a better father than the one who raised you, and together we can accomplish life’s greatest mission. And if we succeed, we can say we accomplished something more meaningful compared to anything else we earn or achieve.
Carry on, my fellow fathers, and I hope you will join me when Rookie Father is published in January next year.
Sincerely – Kendall