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Everybody Needs Somebody Sometime

Last week when Number 1 was home for Thanksgiving, I offered to keep her two dogs over the three weeks while she was back at work leading up to Christmas Break. After all, I had trained all three of our dogs as well as four kids, how hard could two more dogs be? Lets just say, I have a short memory for how much work a dog can be. I am either cleaning up after one dog, taking something away from the other while still trying to keep our two dogs from going crazy with these young visitors in the house. I guess I can say I have memory issues when it comes to child rearing as well.

Sometimes I look back on raising our four kids and wonder how I was able to do it all and still have some hair left on my head. Every part of my sanity was tested from potty training, to hormones to emotional support to discipline. Every day was on-the-job training. With dogs, you can always call a trainer to come in and give you so pointers or even take over and train them for you, but not kids. Most days it is training by fire and hope you don’t emotionally scar one so badly that they have to bring it up in therapy when they are older.

I am sure each of our kids will have at least one story to tell about how dad did them wrong when they were growing up. In fact some have shared their stories with me and of course I have no recollection of those events. I have no problem referring back to my short-term memory issues. I of course, like to just remember all the good times we had when I was home with them. I like to remember how I shaped their little brains and helped them to become who they are today. I only remember all those times when all the kids were listening to me while out in public and those around me complimenting me how well behaved they all were.

Parenting was and is still hard to this day and everyone needs some help or even a trainer that can step in when you are at the end of your rope. This week on Facebook, I replied to a comment in our Stay At Home Dad Facebook group about parenting. It has been a long time since I was active in that group and I have to admit I miss the support I received from other dads years ago. When our kids were young, my wife traveled quite a bit and kept long hours at work because she knew the kids were taken care of. My stay at home dad buddies became my go-to often when things weren’t going well. Whether it was a playgroup or a Dad’s Night Out or just a quick call on the phone, it was great to have men that I could call for support when things got tough to manage.

The weekend before thanksgiving many of my now older stay at home dad friends got together for a reunion in Chicago. It was at the site for At Home Dad Conventions 1-10. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend but it was great seeing all the photos on social media and lots of good memories came back to me about our times together. I hope to attend a reunion sometime soon and thanks those guys for what they meant to me when I needed them most. I am proud to be part of something that continues to grow. Every year the convention is hosted in a new city in hopes of continuing to provide support for dads just like me.

Now back to reality. I will need to finish this story quickly as I am quite certain the 12 week old puppy needs to go outside. I enjoyed raising our kids and I enjoyed training our dogs. Both jobs continue daily. My greatest accomplishment in life is seeing these young adults grow and make good decisions that continue to shape their future. Also it feels great to be the Alpha to our four legged family members. Guess I will have to stop wondering if I can train some new dogs and know that there are others out there that can help when I run into trouble. Does anyone have the phone number to the nearest trainer?

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