"Walk a little slower, Daddy!" said a little child so small.
"I'm following in your footsteps and i don't want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.
Someday when I'm all grown up, you're what i want to be.
Then i will have a little child who'll want to follow me.
And i would want to lead just right, and know that i was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for i must follow you!!"
It's both an amazing feeling and a bit scary to think my boys look up to me and want to be like me. It makes me often reflect on how I'm parenting, and if the way I'm behaving reflects how I want them to be.
Theres no manual for parenting, no clear cut method, no one parenting style that works for all kids... It's a tiring endeavor, yet rewarding as well. Sometimes it feels more tiring than rewarding, and vise versa. "Most of us have no idea what it’s like to be a parent until we are actually a parent. And then it’s too late! When that baby comes, it hits you like a whirlwind...Now try throwing being a small-business owner or entrepreneur into the mix and you’ve got double duty. Most of us have no idea what that’s going to be like either, until we are in the middle of it." Since starting out this company it's definitely added to the busyness of life. It's hard to make time for everything and juggle all the demands of life. It comes down to priorities though. At the end of the day if I have nothing left for my family and no time to spend with them, then I have to ask myself if it's worth it!
I know my kids won't always want to play with me. My oldest won't always want to play dinosaurs with me, and my youngest won't always want to watch the choo choo train with me. I have to cherish these moments. I felt like I was not spending enough quality time with my boys so I had to change things up. And I also wanted to just get away for a bit. Our family trip to the mountains this week was just what I needed. It was so refreshing to have quality time to spend with my family. I love making these special memories with my wife and kids. Time goes so fast, and these early years of their lives are proof of that! I look at them and already wonder how my boys have gotten so big so fast! I want to be the best version of myself that I can for my boys.
"Being a father requires little emotional investment. Being a dad is a dedicated and lifelong duty."
I don't always feel like giving my time and devotion to my boys, and sometimes I do have to just let them entertain themselves so I can have time alone, or time with their mom. But I need to remember that it won't always be this way. I need to be their for them when they need me. And I want to be a good example in life for them. This extends beyond my parenting duties into my work life and business life. I have had an incredible opportunity to meet wonderful people both within Airdrie and on a more global scale through my company. I want my boys to be proud of how others perceive me in all aspects of life!
It's a great and challenging thing being a dad. And with both running a company and being a parent, you never know what cards you'll be dealt. But it's about putting your best foot forward, and doing the best that you can!
No one is saying you need to be perfect. That's impossible. There are moments where I lose my cool and am not always proud about how I react. But it's about what I do in those next moments that are crucial. Its about owning up to your mistake if you didnt react the best and telling your child you're sorry...and making sure they know you still love them!
You'll never achieve perfection as a parent, but being present is the best thing you can do for your kids!