Nothing makes me prouder than being called a dad.
That was a privilege I waited to have for a year after getting married.
I got married in 2011. Fast forward to 2017 and I now have 3 kids. Two running around the house and one, cradled around her mommy’s arms. 2 girls and 1 boy. Not bad, right?
These kids inspire me bigtime. I am driven just by the idea of giving them a good life. I want to send them to exclusive schools, buy them toys they love, give them clothes they like… pretty much things I did not enjoy when I was a kid. I want nothing but the best for them.
But how do we really know when we are giving them the best? Let me share a story that broke my heart…
Four months ago, I opened a new office in Quezon City and told myself:
Man, business is good! It’s going to be great for my family!
So, I hired new people, set up a work place, excited to see how things are going to turn out in months. I was so pumped up to work that I was telling my wife,
Honey, this is it. This is the break we were waiting for!
Little did I know that with this new responsibility, it will also take a lot from me.
Money, energy and most importantly TIME.
The added work load had me going home late. Really late. I knew from the get go what my priorities were and at the top of the list was my family. But I was trying to justify or at least convince myself that I am working harder for them.
I go home when my wife and kids are already asleep and sometimes, leave the house too early it felt like I never got home in the first place.
One day, I decided to work at home. My eldest daughter who’s already four, sneaked into the room, knowing that it is a chance for her to spend time with her dad. I was too pre-occupied with what I was doing that I did not mind her there. She probably got bored and started saying:
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
I did not mind her again. Then she started saying again, this time trying to really get my attention with a tag on my shoulder:
Daddy, daddy, daddy
I got so annoyed.
When I work, I don’t like distractions. When I am so zoned in, I prefer not to be disturbed. I turned to my daughter and with a disappointed look, I raised my voice and said:
What?!! Can’t you see I am working?!
She replied with teary eyes,
E kasi, I miss you na. I want you to superman me.
Superman is her term for playtime. This is something I started doing when she turned one. It’s where I become her human amusement park. Something that she and her brother got used to and I get to do regularly before I opened the new office.
When I heard that, I’d be honest, what I was doing was really important and urgent. But I decided to pause a little and take a break just so that I can play with her.
I stepped out of the room, and we started doing the roller coaster, the flying fiesta and anchors away. Soon, my son who’s two years old joined us.
The living room was suddenly filled with laughter. I can see the happiness this short period brought to my kids. My daughter with her arms flailing, was shouting
I love you daddy!
The smile on their faces were surreal. It felt good.
That was when I realized something… Sometimes, as dads, we try to do too much for our kids. There’s nothing wrong with setting the bar high and dreaming big. But we also have to ask ourselves
At what cost?
I remember what my mentor taught me way back…
“The success of your career or business can never compensate for the FAILURE of your family.”
I’m sure a lot of you will agree with this. We have goals and we plan to achieve them. We toil and work hard. But as fathers, we have to understand our kids need us too.
To have kids is a privilege. Not every man gets the opportunity to be a dad. But when you’re blessed with one, you have to make them feel loved.
I am still a work in progress but lately, I have been putting in more effort to have simple moments with my kids. We’ve recently incorporated the “pillow fights” 15 mins before bedtime every night and makes me feel guilty when I miss one.
I don’t know about you, but we can send our kids to prestigious schools, buy them expensive toys and give them first class meals but when we can’t find time to spend with them, they will never understand the essence of your love.
Remember, kids spell L-O-V-E as T-I-M-E.
About The Author
Wendell is a "TRY athlete". He tries every sports. From basketball, to boxing, to beer pong. A businessman by day, a husband and a father by night. A self confessed Oleia Topical Oil user everyday.