It feels like it’s been a long week already, and I’m tired. Work takes its toll, as does the work of parenting. And I know—love is a gift and so is being a parent. But they take hard work, right? Sometimes, even these good things can wear me out. So it’s been a long week. A long month, maybe. And depending on how you look at it, maybe it’s been a long few years. I’m a tired dad. I get to the end of a day like this and it can feel like my loftiest goal is some Netflix and my favorite beverage. Is anyone with me here?
This is for tired dads, from a tired dad. It’s for guys who don’t have it all figured out yet, from a guy who often feels like he doesn’t have a clue. This one is for the flawed guys, who bring a load of inadequacy to the table, more failings than they care to admit, less ability to control the things around them than they’d like. This is for the fathers who sometimes get scared. I get scared, too. In fact, here’s what I’d like to say: Just because you find yourself writing articles for All Pro Dad doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re all pro. This is why.
We are all a mess.
We’re a mess. Each of us. We get impatient and irritable. There are limits to our energy, our resources, and our abilities. But we are called to be dads nonetheless. As a mess, we parent beautiful little messes. If you’re not paying attention, this could be taken as discouraging. It doesn’t have to be.
It’s OK to be tired.
You need to know it’s OK to be a tired dad, and it’s OK not to have all the answers. It’s OK not to be the toughest, the smartest, the best at handling money, or a master at tackling tough conversations. I’m saying this even as I need the reminder myself. Sometimes, we each need validation that reminds us how draining life and responsibility can be. I’ve had really great dads come into my office and say something like, “I’m tired, man. I work. I go to my kids’ practices. I try to spend time with my wife and show her I love her. I try to help out around the house. I’m working on being a good person and getting better, but I’m tired.” And I’ll look at that man and say, “Sounds like you’ve got a good reason for it, my brother.”Being a dad is really hard work and it’s not for the faint of heart.
And you can keep going.
What about you? You need to hear this too: Good work. You’re doing it. You’re allowed to make mistakes. But keep going. Being a dad is really hard work and it’s not for the faint of heart. It takes courage, and sometimes double when you’re trying to make changes. But here you are. You’re reading. You’re looking for answers. You’re growing. Now how about taking one more step today by participating in a dialogue with other tired dads? Have you got it in you? Use the space at the bottom of this page. Write a word of encouragement or share a small slice of your story. It can make a big difference. You remember how much it can help simply to know you’re not the only one who feels the way you do. Let’s take a minute to cheer one another on. And then, after that, go take a nap. You probably need it.
Sound off: What word of encouragement or slice of your story would you like to share?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What types of things tire you out the most?”