The Bad Parenting Night

Ever have one of those nights where everything involving your parenting skills seems to go wrong?  Yeah…I had one of those nights last night.  It was absolutely brutal.

  • I was late to pick up Ankle Biter for supper.
  • I didn’t have anything to eat in the house (or anything that he wanted, anyway).
  • He wanted to watch a movie but my dvd decided to stop working.
  • He was excited to play a new XBox game that I got at work from a “Secret Santa”, but as soon as I turned it on it froze and didn’t work.

It just seemed like it was one thing after another. None of the items were any big deal on their own, but it just seemed like it was one thing after another.

Where I’ve been battling some inner demons lately, I’m constantly questioning my relationship with my son and his feelings towards me. I’m financially unable to provide him with all of the things that his mom is able to, and at the age of five those shiny little toys can make one home a bit more appealing than the other.

She’s also got a dog that Ankle Biter has had since Easter. If you’ve got a kid and a pet, you can totally understand and appreciate the bond that they have. Needless to say, after he’s picked up from the babysitter he’s not quite overjoyed to come to dad’s house when he’d rather play with his best friend.

So anyway, to see him lay on the couch…tired and bored…and having to apologize for how the evening visit was going was just a big kick to the gut. I felt like I had failed him.

I realize that I’m too quick to find a reason to hate myself, but last night was brutal for me. I should have been better prepared for a visit and I wasn’t. I need to not be so hard on myself, but it’s situations like last night that make it all too easy.

It was just a bad night that I’m sure every parent has. It just seems exponentially worse because I’m a single dad who only wants to make his son happy when they’re together. It’s really tough when that doesn’t happen.

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7 thoughts on “The Bad Parenting Night

  1. I am so sorry to hear that your night didn’t go as you had anticipated, especially when those opportunities aren’t abundant. Know this though – life at his mom’s is not perfect either. She’s not perfect. Her parenting is not perfect…because a perfect parent does NOT exist. Everyone feels inadequate sometimes, everyone feels they have let their children down and we all beat ourselves up at the end of the day and replay the tape in our head of what happened and what, in hindsight, we could have done differently. What you shared with him was the most important thing of all – your time. Many fathers do not get that opportunity or don’t exercise it at all. Looking back years from now he won’t remember this night and all the specifics – he’ll remember that you were there for him, spending time with him when possible and fostering the bond that only a FATHER and son can have.

    1. What she said! Your time is the most important thing you can give him (and your love, but you already know that.) Some days will always be better than others.The bad ones do suck.

  2. ((hugs)) I am sorry for the rough night last night. But I bet you feel worse about it than he ever will, or that he will ever truly notice. You are a good father, never doubt that.

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