Admitting We’re Not ‘Dad Perfect’

Dads’ Survival Guide: Possibilities — Our Passions and Purpose

Dave Smith

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Photo courtesy of Nina Conte on Unsplash

Dads don’t talk. To one another.

“Work’s busy…Kids are great…Wife is fine…Life’s good.”

Sure, we chat. Kibitz. Catch-up. Yammer on about this or that. Dads will have conversations. Dialogs. Discussing things on our minds. But rarely, if ever, things on our hearts.

This isn’t a COVID phenomenon. A pandemic-induced silence. Dads have never been open with one another. About things that matter.

Those subjects keeping us up at night. Topics we stress about. Turn over and over in our heads. But never address out loud.

The expectations to produce and provide. Workplace performance pressures. Anxiety over our standing at the firm. The sketchy future of our practice. Or one’s true financial condition. The mountain of debt. Exorbitant costs of daily life. And keeping up with the Jones.

The real condition of our marriage. Below the surface of a dutifully happy couple. The strains. Tensions. Quarrels. Lack of intimacy. Or struggles with the kids. Disappointing grades. Bad behavior. Poor choices. Tantrums. Bed-wetting. And the bickering over phones. Clothes. Their friends.

Worst of all, the disconnection. From our kids. Our wives. A profound brokenness. Leaving us feeling like failures. Empty. And alone.

Sounds ominous. Yep, it’s serious. More commonplace than one thinks. Not for all Dads. But for plenty. Experiencing some part of the above. Maybe it’s you. Maybe not. Perhaps a guy in your Fantasy League. A partner at the firm. A Father down the street. Or a close friend from days past. Who knows? How would we know? Since, Dads don’t talk to each other. About things that matter.

“Work’s busy…Kids are great…Wife is fine…Life’s good.”

Standard response. Man Code for, “Nothing to see here. So, let’s move on.” Meanwhile the turmoil festers inside. Dads going about our day, sucking it up. And suffering in silence.

Bumbling Along

Dads were never issued a playbook.

None of us enrolled in Paternal training seminars. Briefed for our role as…

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Dave Smith

Leadership Coach, Advisor, Dad of four, Novelist.