Thoughts on This Fathers Day...
It’s Sunday afternoon here, and chaos has hit full-force... it’s a grey day outside, and I am meant to be working, but between the washing machine spinning, the jug boiling, Spotify on ‘in the background’ and three children playing loudly (only two of which are mine); I wonder if I will get anything done (at least anything that makes sense)! My ‘office’ is currently our dining table, our house isn’t big enough for an extra desk; let alone having a room dedicated as an office space – so work in chaos I must!
It’s Fathers Day in New Zealand, and we’re keeping it fairly low-key – I don’t know how you celebrate in your part of the country, or in your part of the world, but we have never celebrated excessively. I guess this is partly upbringing and partly us, we have come up with our own traditions and expectations though, partly through trial and error, and partly out of necessity! I do believe it is important to celebrate these occasions, if for nothing else – to acknowledge the hard work us Mums and Dads put into our families.
Our routine, on special days like this, is to start with coffee in bed and then kids join us with their small gifts and homemade cards. This is then followed by breakfast of choice cooked by the spouse and kids (my hubby enjoys a full-on cooked breakfast consisting of bacon, hash browns, fried eggs and mushrooms), and then the clean up by the cook. They also get to choose the dinner, but in between the day is open... sometimes we manage some family time, other days it has already been preplanned depending on what is on our schedule, and yet other times we just take it as it comes (like today)!
But it took a bit of trial and error to come up with this – both of us came into the marriage with our own set of expectations, we both went into parenthood the same also... and unfortunately, both our children were born with minds of their own, and strong personalities! This has meant that sometimes our days didn’t go according to our expectations, and there were times we both took this personally and acted like children ourselves – blaming other people for our reactions, and thus making the day that much worse.
It all came to a head a couple of years ago when two-year-old behaviour was exuding out of an adult body; it was not a pretty sight, and the children were quite upset at the torrent that was being thrown around. After everything calmed down, my husband and I had a talk, and we were able to pinpoint what was behind the behaviour and what to do going forth. It takes courage to make someone face up to their own bad behaviour; understandably they don’t like it, and you definitely have to choose the right time to offer the challenge... but it’s worth it, at least in our case! Ever since then, we’ve had much calmer build-ups to these celebrations, much lower expectations, and much gentler days. It’s amazing how quickly the children adapt when the environment changes, and how quickly they forgive when they have been wronged.
May we be as quick to forgive, and as easy to adapt as our children are; there is a lot we can learn from them as long as we stop long enough to listen, and chose to see things through innocent eyes like they do.
Happy Fathers Day to my love,