3 ways my mom taught me how to be a dad
Today is June 14. It’s a date that will always be special to me because it was my mom’s birthday. She would have been 72 today.
Though she left us in body only 3 years ago, she was abandoned by her mind several years before that in her struggle with early-onset dementia.
Curiously, my mom’s worsening dementia corresponded almost exactly with the birth of our twins and the subsequent awakening of my own parenting instincts. It’s a cruel irony that my own parent, the person on whom I modeled much of my own parenting style, was not really present to see the fruits of her labours.
In the intervening three years since her death, much has changed. We moved west to Alberta from Ontario. I took a turn as a stay-at-home dad and helped integrate the family into our new lives in Edmonton. And I have since returned to full-time work outside the home, building a dynamic social media consulting practice.
While stay-at-home parenting is full of rewards, it also has its challenges. I wrote about those challenges over the past few years on this blog and recently some of these posts have been reprinted in various places.
Coincidentally, today, the Good Men Project decided to republish one of my posts about the challenges I felt some days about being a dad doing work that moms usually do. I always enjoy these opportunities to reread my posts and think about them from a new perspective — one that comes with the passage of time.
Sometimes, upon rereading, my posts feel to me out-dated and no longer relevant. But not this one. It closes with 3 guiding principles of parenting that are as vital to me today as the day I wrote them:
- Pay your love forward because it’s an investment in the future.
- Be the best parent you can be because no parent can be perfect.
- Make the lives of the people around you better because that’s the way we can change the world for the better.
Hopefully, these principles ring true for you and my mom’s memory can be a blessing to more than just her own children and grandchildren.