Aside from the big issues that can impact a family, fatherhood is full of smaller – yet seemingly so significant – moments of dread.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that these moments are interspersed with some of the most fulfilling and exciting moments of your life. Parenting has its ups and downs, but overwhelmingly, it tends to be more highs than lows. Those moments when our minds turn to the future and contemplate the road to come are few and far between – but boy, can they hit hard when we think about them.
Maybe some of these will sound familiar to all the other Dads out there. The moments we know are coming and might have to deal with; by focusing on them, they at the very least let us enjoy the moments we have right now that little bit more!
#1 – The First Serious Partner
Every parent has moments where they worry about their child’s romantic relationships in the future. It’s easy to dismiss it as being years away, but you don’t truly know that. There’s every chance that your children have already met the people they’re going to marry and settle down with – isn’t that a terrifying thought?
There’s no doubt that the in-law relationship can be an incredibly difficult one to navigate. What if you hate the person that your child brings home? Or what if you have the opposite problem, and you think they’re amazing… but they break up? Are you going to be doomed by judging all of their future relationships as okay, but not as good as so-and-so?
Don’t worry – it’s normal to think about these things! Whoever our children choose as their significant other is someone that is going to have a big impact on our lives, so those idle thoughts are just us struggling to deal with the possibilities.
#2 – Learning To Drive
Do you remember the feeling of freedom when you learned to drive? The feel that the world was your oyster; no longer would you be dependant on your parents for lifts. You could get in a car and take off for as long as you wanted to – well, within reason anyway. You did have school in the morning. But nevertheless, it was an amazing experience, the feeling of liberation and finally being able to make your own way in the world.
While you might remember that with crystal clarity and sheer joy, it’s… well, it’s not so fun to contemplate from the other side, is it? The idea of our kids behind the wheel is completely terrifying. Not only do we assume accidents and subsequent calls to Quittance will be inevitable, but there’s also coping with the idea we’ll no longer know where our kids are at all times.
#3 – The World They Will Grow Up In
There’s no doubt we live in an ever-changing world. There’s political turmoil throughout the globe, and everything seems to happen far quicker than it used to before. The digital age has changed the way we communicate and the work we do; there’s every chance your child will have a job that you have never heard of. Just think, there are parents in their 60s right now whose children have become full-time bloggers – something they never would have conceived of as a possibility!
Then there is the threat posed by climate change, which could mean that our kids grow up in a world very different to the one we inhabit today.
So How Does A Parent Cope?
When you find yourself with worries about the future, it can be very hard to keep a sense of perspective.
The best way of coping is to focus on the moment. This might sound like an over-simplification, but it’s just a fact. The future is coming; your kids will grow up; the world is going to change; they are going to want to drive and they will settle down with a partner. If they do all of those things and obtain a status of independence, it might be gut-wrenching, but it shows you’ve done a good job.
If you focus on making the moment as good as it can possibly be for both you and your children, then the future will largely deal with itself. Make the right choices vis a vis education and hobbies, and your kids will lead glowing, happy lives – even if it takes you awhile to convince yourself of it! Worrying is a natural part of the DNA of any parent, so don’t be overly concerned.
Roll with the punches and take each day as it comes – parenting is a risk, but it’s one that keeps paying off time and time again!