I found this article by Jeff Pearlman really interesting. If you want to check it out go ahead, but first a few of my thoughts. I put this post together a couple of years ago, but the article and my thoughts still hold true.
My wife is an AMAZING stay at home mom, and I do my best to give her a break when she needs it. However, there are times when I feel myself falling into the trap of just vegging in front of the laptop and just zoning out. Or I will go out and play a round of golf, when I have the time. Even though I am busy with school, work, and being a daddy, I do my best to help her out with our daughters. Now that our roles have changed and I stay home with our girls when I’m not working. It’s always good to get a break from our girls. My wife and I are like tag team partners. We each take turns to give each other a break.
I know not all of the following apply to me, but I do enjoy a round of golf when I can, but I always try and make sure everything is OK first.
The following is a good guide to help create a good foundation to building great relationships with your children and to help keep our priorities as dads straight:
For you, I offer these 10 commandments of righteous fatherhood. Pay close attention, because, behind your back, people are pitying your wife:
1. No golf on weekends: Seriously, it’s ludicrous. Your spouse is home with the kids all the time, and you think it’s OK to take five hours on a weekend day to pursue your own pastime? Selfishness, thy name is Father.
2. Wake up: Literally, wake up. With your kids. On at least one of the two weekend days — and perhaps both. I know: you wake up early for work. Not even remotely the same thing. Rising alongside the kiddies is hard. And crazy. And (gasp!) sorta fun, if you’d just stop moping.
3. Change diapers: If you have little kids, and you don’t know how to change diapers (or, even worse, refuse to change diapers), you’re pathetic. That’s no exaggeration — p-a-t-h-e-t-i-c. It’s not all that hard, and though the poop sometimes winds up on the fingers, well, uh, yeah. It just does. Wash your hands.
4. Play with dolls and paint your toenails: How many fathers do I know who refuse to get girlish with their girls? Dozens. Dude, put aside the machismo, break out Barbie and slather on some pink polish. You’ll make a friend for life — and nobody else is watching.
5. Do things you don’t want to do: It’s easy to take the kids to the driving range — because you want to be there. Now try spending the day having a tea party at American Girl. Or crawling through one of those wormholes at the nearby kiddie gym. Fun? Often, no. But this isn’t about you.
6. Order the wife to bug off: I recently met a mother who told me her husband hadn’t been alone with their 9-year-old daughter for more than two hours … ever. Inexcusable. Let your wife do her own thing: relax, take a run, whatever. Entertain your children solo. They don’t bite (Note: CNN.com is not liable if your children do, in fact, bite).
7. Surprise! Just once, on a random day without meaning or purpose, show up early at your kid’s school/camp/wherever, say “Get in the car!” and take him/her somewhere special. Just the two of you, alone. A movie. A park. A hike. The memory lasts — I promise.
8. Dishes Don’t Clean Themselves (Nor Do Toys): It’s amazing how this one works. You pick up a dish, run it under hot water with some soap, rub it down with a towel and place it back on the shelf. Then repeat.
9. Wake up your kid: Not often. But if you want to score big points and create a killer memory moment, walk in Junior’s room at, oh, midnight, wake him/her up and go outside for 10 minutes to watch the stars.
10. For God’s sake, tell your kids you love them: They never see you, and they’d probably like to know.
Bud, as you read this your wife is expecting little — and your kids are expecting even less. Pull one out of the blue. Make Father’s Day less about you, and all about them.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jeff Pearlman.