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Trying To Be The Best Dad I Can

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Sometimes it is hard to believe that I am a dad. Not only a dad but a dad to an awesome 13, 6 and 2 year old.

When I was growing up I had a shitty childhood and shitty parents. I know this is not nice to say about my parents but it is 100% the truth. Actually it was just my mom because my father was to much of a coward to stick around and do the right thing and be a father to his only son. Growing up I wondered if I would ever have kids. If I would be emotionally fit for kids. A shitty childhood will mess with your head and emotions as you get older and really make you think about what kind of person you will turn out to be. It will make you question if you are fit to be with others and if you are fit to take care of another human being.

When I met Melinda eight years ago Sabreena our oldest was just about to turn 5 years old. I wasn’t sure what kind of father figure I could be for her. I was 27 years old and immature as hell. I had one serious relationship that ended badly and a bunch of other short crappy relationships. I wouldn’t say that I had a great track record at being there for people.

After meeting Melinda I realized that I could do this. I could be a father to Sabreena and take over where her father dropped the ball because he was to much of a coward to set up. At this point I realized I wanted to try my best to be better then my father and her father. I wanted to have a relationship with Sabreena that was loving. I am not saying I am the best father by any means.

She is 13 now and I do find it difficult to talk to her sometimes and not because anything she did wrong. I find sometimes I have a hard time interacting with my kids because my parents were never there for me. They never laid the foundation on how parents should interact with their kids because they never interacted with me. I try not to use this as a crutch but believe me your childhood will effect who you are as an adult. If you had no love growing up it is hard to show love to others. My kids mean the world to me. I am scared as hell to die but if it came down to me or my kids there are no questions asked I am the one going. This is how much my kids mean to me.

I love my kids and I know I have a hard time showing it. I think they know I love them but I need to work on actually showing it more and fostering the best loving house that I can.

I find myself joking alot with my kids because in my head humor is the only thing I feel that I have. I find it hard to show emotions but I feel I am getting better but I have my days were it is hard.

I feel I have come a long way in 8 years as a father. In the beginning I didn’t think fatherhood was in my future but I meet Melinda and Sabreena and that all changed.

I can’t imagine my life without my kids, they are truly awesome. Yes they are a pain sometimes, test me, cry and just frustrate the hell out of me but at the end of the day my kids have made me a good dad and better human being.

This is one of a million reasons why I am proud to be a dad:

Sorry for getting so serious today but after watching the above video of Shae it just made me realize I love my life and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Head over to Dad Blogs and check out the other cool moms and dads on this Fatherhood Friday.

Have a great weekend and be sure to kiss your kids and show them all of the love you can!!!!!!

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  1. Creative Junkie says

    That video is adorable!

    As for parenthood – you just do the best you can, even if you are winging it 90% of the time. I too wish that I had had better role models when I was a child so I that could feel more confident in my own abilities to parent. But, no … I didn't have good role models. However, I try to think about it this way … if they didn't set an example as to how to do something, they most certainly set an example as to how NOT to do that same thing.

  2. That video is too cute!

    I agree with the above. I too learned what not to do as a parent from mine. All you can do is try your best. As much as we wish kids came with manuals, they don't. There's always the approach my husband and I took. We joke (not in front of the kids) that our 2nd son is "Plan B." Just in case we mess up Plan A.

  3. Jennifer Leigh says

    First things first…LOVE THE NEW LOOK. I'll get your new button up!

    Now, I love what you wrote not because it was sweet and from a dad…but because it was REAL and from the heart! WTG!

  4. bigguysmama says

    Thank you so much for your honestly. It's so important for parents to be real, especially to our kids. If you get the chance, I'd talk to your oldest daughter and let her know YOU know that you're going to blow it.

    I was in the same place as you when it comes to parenting. My relationship w/ my parents growing up was extremely crappy. In a large way, it set me up to not know how to parent. My poor kids!

    It was great to see this post because I was just thinking yesterday about starting some posting about REAL parenting.

    Blessings on your continued journey!


  5. theladya says

    I love your post here. I'm so glad that you have been a father figure to Sabreena. You seem like a great dad. My son Chris' father quit seeing him when he was 9 months old and when Chris was 13 months old I met Brian who almost 9 years later is still dad and he's done a great job. He's not a loving, kissing, huging father with my son like he is his 12-year-old daughter but he has showed him what it's like to be a father, taught him right from wrong, played catch, took him fishing, played games with him etc., something his own father has never done.

    I'm glad for dad's like you and Brian and wish there were more of you! You deserve a big thank you.

  6. Sherri @ Luv a Bargain says

    I always love a good Twinkle, Twinkle sung by a toddler. That is so adorable.

    Yea, crappy parents can make it so much harder for us. I didn't have a father either and my mother worked pretty much 12 hour days. It definitely made me want to be a totally different, 100% better parent and create much better memories for my kids.

  7. mamawj says

    I too agree with the first post and the last post too about your comments being real. The saying that goes REAL MEN CRY is true. We were given emotions for a reason. Do you think your kids or an adult you see cry is any less important or differant in your eyes? No, & they will not think that of you, if anything it shows our true colors and brings you closer to know they care enough to let there guard down and show it and brings you closer. I too had a partcail terrible childhood until I was 9 yrs old my dad was a drunk gone from home & when he did come home he was abusive to my mom. So as you say you do form a thought due to what you lived, I did not trust men for the longest time. Even though my dad got sobber after that and was a more loving parent those years left scars that I just told myself I could try to heal by loving others as I did not recieve and we all want to be loved & wanted. And I tell myself that my family now my child my grandchild did not know that person who hurt me they only know me so they can know love not destruction. We have to bury those bad things in our lives and build up new ones and thats done in love with being honest/trusting/depenpdable one day at a time which will create love for us and them.

  8. Greg - Telling Dad says

    There are no cheatsheets when it comes to fatherhood and no scripts to follow when speaking with your children.

    Respect them, love them, and cherish them. The rest will fall into place naturally. It's obvious you're doing a great job as a father because you can see it in the way you speak about them, the smiles on their faces, and the closeness you share.

    For having not felt loved in your childhood, you've made a real breakthrough, and I think the children are the reason. Let go of any angst over whether or not you're doing right by them…clearly you are.

  9. Angie Marion says

    What a great post Rob! Being a parent is hard, for anyone, and having a crappy childhood (like many of us!) doesn't make it easier. But I'm thrilled that you took on being a father to Sabreena and a man to Melinda. As a single mom, we need more men like that! Kudos to you!

    (My sound is not working right now so I could only see the video and I saw Melinda back there on the laptop – Hi Melinda!!!)

    PS Love the new layout!

  10. Such a cute video!

    It sucks that you grew up in such a harsh environment, but it's great that you are aware of it and have pushed yourself to be a better dad!

  11. You and I sound alike. I think being raised the way we were made us awesome effing parents. I can't imagine giving my girls the life I had. I just got finished posting a little of what my childhood was like and I then headed over here and am glad to know that there are other parents out there that are like myself and we are giving our children the best of the best:)

    I still can't get over the fact that we were thinking the same exact thing today:)

    So glad I found you!!! Keep up the Good Work DADDY-O.

  12. ~ Noelle says

    As a fairly "new" follower to your blog…
    Based on the posts you do, you are a GREAT dad…. and you are so very proud of your children…
    Also, love the new design!
    Way to go!
    Speaking of fatherhood…
    Have you ever seen the fatherhood.org commercial? If not, look it up on youtube…
    put in fatherhood.org commercial and look for the one with the dad and daughter with the pom-poms! It makes me smile EVERYTIME I SEE IT!

  13. Doug @ Daddy's Tired says

    Great post, sums up all of my anxiety as a new dad…Mine wasn't in the picture and when he was he still wasn't so I am constantly worried I'll end up like him…It's irrational I know, but still a fear. I'm glad to know there are others out there like me who love being a dad despite all its anxieties. Great Post!

  14. The video is adorable! And your post is very sweet. It sounds like you are doing perfectly. All of us have those moments where the kids drive us crazy, but at the end of the day, it's worth every moment.

    Like you, I wouldn't trade this for anything!

  15. Stacie's Madness says

    here's my motto…and what I try to live by…

    do it better than my parents and if I fall short, at least I did the best I could at the time.

    no matter how badly my parents have dropped the ball, I love them and forgive them (mostly) for their shortcomings.

    I can only hope my children will do the same.

  16. blueviolet says

    You're trying to break the cycle and I think you're doing a darn good job of it. You're there every day, working at it. 🙂

  17. The Jacobsen Family! says

    That video… SO ADORABLE!!
    At least you are aware of the kind of dad you want to be, and you're working on it. That says a ton. We can only do the best that we can do, and we'll never be perfect. But as long as our kids know we love them and we're doing our best, that's all that matters.
    You're doing great!!! Keep it up!

  18. Jammie says

    First off, let me say you have a beautiful daughter. Second I can relate to everything you said in that post. Having shitty parents can either lead you to be a shitty parent or WAKE you up to realize you want better for your children. I went the better for my child route I wish I could say the same about other family members. Having a family that truly loves you makes you grow up that much faster. Kudos to you for taking the route where your child has better than you did.

  19. Acnespan says

    Thank you so much for your honestly. It's so important for parents to be real, especially to our kids. If you get the chance, I'd talk to your oldest daughter and let her know YOU know that you're going to blow it.

  20. Hobo Mama says

    Thank you for being so honest and open. Your kids know you love them and are trying your best. We all have things we want to do better than our parents, and we just have to try and hope the next generation is better still!

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