Parenthood:I don’t want to be my Dad

Talking with my mom the other day about the different things going on in our lives. Let me start again by saying my mother and I don’t have the type of relationship where we speak every day or even every week for that matter. In fact, I talk to no one every day but if you are part of my immediate family and in my “circle” of friends then you know and they know that I’m dependable and reliable to be there whenever they or you need me. When my mom and I do talk it is often filled with inspiration, laughter and intellectual challenges (we pick at each other).

Towards the end of our conversation after talking about my “singleness” and whether or not I’m too picky to find love (see my entry on that) we stumbled on to the topic of family and kids. My mom asked me if I wanted them. I told her that I did and that I hope that it happens sooner rather than later. As I’m sure all parents(especially mom’s) say to their children she said “I think you will be a great dad, in fact I know you will”

She mentioned the characteristics that I have that shows this to be the case. While I would like to believe that I will be a great dad, no one really knows. I’m sure my dad thought he would be a great dad as well and it turned out to not be the case. Don’t get me wrong my dad is a good man. He has a good heart and will do almost anything for his friends. I don’t know if it was out of necessity of wanting to be liked or if it’s just who he is but he is a good man. However, he wasn’t a good dad, not to me and not to my two sisters.

I don’t hold this against him and I forgave my father a long time ago for not being able to be part of my life after the age of ten. Truth is, I am very much like my father in a lot of area’s in my life. I’m a very dedicated friend, I’m passionate about knowledge, I question our existence and it’s correlation to the universe just like my father.  Keep in mind none of this was taught to me by my dad. It’s simply who I am, you could say its in my blood and maybe it is.

I look exactly like my father now (thats a picture of him and I) so clearly my dad has left his mark on me. Knowing that many things are passed down genetically in ways that still has not  been quite figured out by doctors and scientist it’s possible that we inherit all things that we don’t want as well.

My mom said that “I’ve seen what a good father is not” but is that enough? I can honestly say that it has been enough so far in my life. I’ve worked hard not to be anything like my father in other ways in my adult life. For example, I’ve never cheated on a woman, I’ve never hit a woman, I’ve never called a woman a bitch and I do my best not to cause pain to women. These are things that I’ve witnessed happen to my mom by my dad. I’ve seen the damage it can cause.

I’ve had a lot of issues that I have had to overcome that were caused by having my father sporadically  in my life and by him not being in my life at the same time. I’d like to say that YES I will be a great dad. But I wonder if I won’t be. There are some people who truly aren’t meant to be full time parents and my dad just so happens to be one of those people.

I’m thankful for my dad helping to bring me in to this world and I will be forever grateful and loving towards him because of it but I don’t want to be my dad but I do want a child. I guess there is no way to know for sure but the last thing I want to do is to bring a child in to this world and not be able to love and provide the way that I want.

They say that all a child needs is love and that is more than enough for them and in that regard I have an infinite amount of love to give but is that enough? Is love truly enough in adult relationships? There are mixed feelings about that.

As a spiritual being growing and progressing on my path I feel within my spirit that I’ll be a great dad and also a great husband one day and all that one can do is to be aware of the traits/ characteristics when and if they surface.

I’m curious though, do any of you have the fear of not wanting to be like any of your parents knowing that its a possibility that their traits exist in you? If you do have kids, did you have those fear beforehand and turn out to be the exact opposite of your parents? Or maybe…just like them?

Let me know

One comment

  1. Jay,

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I have to say that the idea of parenthood thrills and scares me simultaneously. I know that I don’t want to haphazardly bring a child into this world when I am emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and/or financially unprepared. However, I do want the chance to prove to myself (at the very least) that I am capable of being a good/decent mother. There are certainly traits from my parents that I pray don’t get passed down to another generation. Nevertheless, there are certainly some wonderful things about my parents that I would be proud to pass on to the next generation. I suppose the truth of the matter is this–parenthood, like any major responsibility, is without a definitive guidebook. We have to trust ourselves, our spouses/partners, and children to help us, and them, along the way.

    On a personal note, I agree with your mother. I happen to think you will be a great dad if given the opportunity. Love is undoubtedly needed, but yes there are other things parents need to provide–attention, guidance, and support to name a few. One day . . .

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