Friday, March 12, 2010

Finding your Manhood through Fatherhood

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Often times as a teen and through my early adult life I can remember looking in the mirror and asking myself, 'who am I?' Becoming a husband and then a father has brought me closer to finding the answer I was, and still am, looking for. My idea of who I wanted to be when I was twenty-one is certainly different than the reality that is me at thirty-one. 


Ten years ago, I thought driving a luxury car, living in a four bedroom home on two acres, going to work in designer suits and having three kids was my ticket to happiness. Time and reality soon made me realize that this picture I had painted wasn't me, it was my parents. The programming of my expectations began early and was unrelenting: you must be more successful than your parents, things are an expression of happiness. That is what it means to be a man.


The challenge for me has been trying to reconcile what I grew up with to the man I am today. I know that in their eyes I am a failure - I am not the lawyer they wanted me to be, I married out of my race and religion. Those saddle bags of guilt weighed heavy on me, and sometimes still do. But their views and values didn't fit me. And they still don't, but I'm beginning to see I don't have to carry that weight. Defining myself as a man has not been a journey I've taken on my own. For me, it's being a part of something larger than myself. It comes from seeing my daughter's innocence and growth; the love in both her and my wife's eyes when they look at me. I can't imagine my life differently than it is now. I am sure I can always have bigger and better things. But, "things" don't fuel my desire. I have found the man I want to be through our family. I am a loving father and husband and that's where I have found my manhood.



7 comments:

  1. It is definitely difficult. I'm sure my father had different expectations of how my life would be, but in the end I wouldn't trade where I'm at for anything else.

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  2. It is interesting how those previous views of the future you are lacking the benefit of those 10 years life. A great post on what it means to change

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  3. Thanking you for taking the time to check out the blog and commenting. I really appreciate it PJ and sahdpdx.

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  4. I had this bookmarked for awhile and finally got around to reading it.

    Wow, great post! I understand this completely. It's great that you have embraced the path that you chose. You've stayed true to yourself. Your family will be the better for that choice. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Great post. I found that the double whammy of being laid off from a job in which I was very successful but had become very disenchanted coupled with the realization that Baby Grrl!™ was on the way COMPLETELY reorganized my priorities. In the past year I've almost completed a 180 in terms of what's important. I spent the last decade+ chasing a dream that I'm not sure was mine.

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  6. Nice post nan. And I agree. I feel like I never really knew myself--nor was I really proud of what I did know--until I became a husband and then a SAHD. When that first baby pops out, you realize what's important REAL quick. Thanks for sharing this.

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  7. Being able to find my own identity and focus was key for my future success. Not following my father's dream's and master plan or goal's he intended me to achieve has with out a dought made me a better man,father and husband.

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