It’s great being a Dad…

I just spent the day sitting in a boiling hot swimming pool gallery. It was uncomfortable, the seats were hard, it was humid and the air thick with the smell of chlorine … (hold that thought) …

“It’s great being a Dad!” 

I often hear these words from new Dads or parents with young children.  I vary rarely hear it from parents with older children.  Normally it’s “Oh he/she are typical moody teenagers …”. Which I find rather sad really.  When did they stop feeling it necessary to tell their children how proud and pleased they are with them?

I am proud to say that both my two lads are an absolute pleasure to have around the house and when out and about.  Sure they have their moments, but don’t we all?  I certainly have days when I don’t want to be around me …  My oldest, he’s 16 and a half.  He’s fit, energetic, good at school, a great drummer,  is an NCO in the Air Cadets and is a qualified Swimming Teacher.  My younger lad is a County Level swimmer, plays in the school rugby team is as fit as a butcher’s dog, and works very hard at school.  I love them both dearly.  Do I allow them to play computer games? Of course I do, as long as I’ve vetted them first.  Do they have a TV in their room: absolutely not.  A computer in their room:definitely not.  Do we still have meals together: yes, though we normally sit and watch something on TV.  Do we play family games together? Sure, only now we tend to either play on the Wii or the XBox or Age of Empires II on the PC – still a great game BTW :-).

My wife and myself have worked hard with the boys to get where we are. It’s not easy.  There is that thing called discipline that’s needed early on, basically before they’re 5.  Once they’re past 5 it’s  really  difficult to correct things, I’ve seen it in other peoples children.

Did I ever smack my lads? Yes I did, only ever on the backside or the thigh, where it stings but doesn’t damage, a perfect design by nature!  Anywhere else is out of order as far as I’m concerned and it was only ever as a last resort.  But it was needed on occasions: we all need to learn at an early age what the limits of behaviour are, and also what is safe, and despite what so-called child experts say – you cannot  reason with a 18 month to 2 year old when they are deadset on doing what is either socially unacceptable or life-threatening.

You know what?  Despite me having to discipline my children on rare occasions, they are not mentally scarred from it.  In fact, amazingly they’ve turned out to be a couple of the most balanced, sensible, fun-loving and adorable children any parent could ever have wished for.

I’ve had other parents say to me “Oh you’re so lucky with your lads”.

Luck, my friends, has nothing to do with it. It’s hard, hard work being a parent, at least it should be if you’re looking after your children properly, but I can categorically say without reservation that it is 120% worth it. 

I just spent the day sitting in a boiling hot swimming pool gallery. It was uncomfortable, the seats were hard, it was humid and the air thick with the smell of chlorine …  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  Why? Because I sat and watched my younger lad beat children 2 to 3 years older than himself in the 50m Butterfly, 100m Individual Medley and 50m Breastroke. 

They’re magic moments, and as my good friend Andy Maggs says, “it’s only for a short while”.  He is so right. They grow up so fast, so make sure you take time to be around your children to see their achievements no matter how small. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.  I once heard somebody say “Make sure you take time to savour the little things in life, because one day, you’ll realise that the little things in life are really the big things in life”.  The more I think about that, the more I believe it’s true.

It was only a County Level swimming competition, there’s hundreds go on each year, thousands around the world. But it matters. It matters to my young lad. So it matters to me.

It’s great being a Dad … with children of any age …


Dave Mc

About davemcmahon81
Software Developer & Architect, User Group Leader, Speaker, Writer, Blogger, Occasional Guitarist, Man-made Global Warming Sceptic, Climate Change Believer, General Optimist but most of all proud Husband and Dad ...

3 Responses to It’s great being a Dad…

  1. Andrew Forth says:

    You old softie Dave, but I’m just the same with my two. I can’t believe your boys are so grown up now – that’s what 10+ years will do I guess!

    Glad you are all keeping well,


  2. Jeff Landry says:

    Hey Dave,

    Couldn’t agree more. Sounds like we read the same parenting book. Wish there were more like us.

    Keep up the good work!


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