What Does Being a Father Mean to Me?

I asked my husband last week sometime if he’d be interested in guest blogging on my site on the Monday after Father’s Day. I told him it was totally up to him how serious he was, how long it was, and what aspects of fatherhood it focused on. Needless to say when he officially emailed me his finished product I was blown away. I cried and giggled, edited pretty much nothing (he even did the italics and bold print!), and am so proud of this piece that he wrote. I’m thinking that maybe he should take over this site! Totally kinda kidding! Enjoy!

What does being a father mean to me? 


As I began to get my thoughts together about this post, I continually asked myself, “What does being a father mean to me?”  I answered with what I thought were meaningful and loving responses about how amazing being a father is.

“You have someone that is not only part of YOU but also part of the most important person in your life.”

“There is always someone waiting at home for you that is so genuinely happy to see you when you get there (at least for the first 10 years or so), no matter what happened at work that day.”

“Not to mention they do the cutest stuff.  I mean way cuter than anyone else’s kid.”

“Watching them learn new things and grow into a real life person is SO amazing.”

Thought after thought like this rolled into my head; and then another question emerged and I couldn’t shake it.  If all these wonderful things are what being a father means to me, then why is it so damn hard?  Why do I find myself longing for a break, just a little break?  Why do I pray as she starts to cry and wake herself up, “Please not tonight; I just can’t tonight?”  Why do I remind myself of how “easy” it was when it was just my wife and I?  And why do I always ask, “How do people do this with more than one?”  There is no way I have the energy for that.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my daughter more than anyone, aside from her mother, and I truly love being her father. That is why I had such a hard time with these emerging thoughts. Am I a bad father or am I just not cut out for this?  Maybe I should not be writing about what being a father means to me….

Then I realized I had it all wrong.  I couldn’t have been further from the question I should be asking myself.  The question that means everything answers everything about being a father.

What does me being a father mean to my daughter?”


Photo credit: Sarah Wood Photography

This changed everything in how I answered the not so amazing thoughts that had taken over my head.  The original question, while unintentionally, was selfish.  It only focused on me and what was easy and fun. But that is not what being a father is about. By asking what me being a father meant to my daughter I came to one answer; “EVERYTHING.”  That answered floored me and then I became to repeat the negative questions back to myself and this time they changed.

“Why would I take a break when she doesn’t take a break from needing me?”  “How much does it mean to her when she is scared and alone in her room at night and Daddy comes to save her?” “How much would I miss her if she wasn’t here; no matter how much ‘harder’ it seems at times?” “How much will her siblings benefit from her being first and giving me the opportunity to learn from her?”

Wow…  One question had changed everything for me.  And then I asked myself the original question again.

“What does being a father mean to me?”  “EVERYTHING”   It gives me all the purpose in the world.  I know everyone says that, but it is so true.  It means everything to me because it means everything thing to her.  By focusing on her it gives me joy to do the hard things.  Yes, they will still be hard I am sure, but instead of focusing on how difficult it is for me, I can draw strength on the fact that it is so important to her and to those she will one day be able to positively influence because of the person I helped her become.

Maybe next time being a father or mother is hard for you, try asking the question, “What does me being a parent mean to my child?”  And then remember the answer is “Everything”


{John is the husband of Chelsea, founder of And Then Life. He works in sales and when he’s not busy with being a daddy and hubby, he enjoys fishing, golfing, and watching sports.}

6 thoughts on “What Does Being a Father Mean to Me?

  1. myplotofsunshine says:

    I love your husband’s shift in perspective and thinking about what does being a father mean to your daughter! This was so sweet!


  2. Aunt Dee says:

    I first saw John when he was less than 24-hours old. I fell in love wit him then, or so I thought. After reading this blog, I could not be prouder of the man, husband, and father he has become. I have found I love him even more!


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