THE ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone – from people who actually got sick with the virus and the ones who lost loved ones to the people who have been stuck at home juggling multiple roles and those who have lost their jobs.
Well, this dad admitted that he feels like the pandemic made him a “worse dad” as he continues to drown in his responsibilities as a father, a husband, and an employee.
Taking to Reddit, an Australian man who wanted to remain anonymous shared his story in hopes others would understand.
“Lockdown has been hard on everyone and as a family, we are no exception,” he said in his rant.
“When my first son was born, we had boundaries both for him and us and we worked hard as parents to bring him up in a wonderful environment.
“My second son was born and we had some medical trouble but it all settled down. Life got busy and we feel we failed him early on.
“Not enough book reading to him, too much TV sometimes (something that we would never have dreamed of giving my oldest) we have worked hard to rectify that.
“Our daughter was born in January of 2020 and obviously early in the year it became apparent that it was not going to be a normal year. We were both lucky to be able to work from home.
“Our [two] youngest go to daycare and our oldest did a lockdown year in his first year of school and now is doing the same in his second.
“We get that naturally your time is divided with the more children you have. But covid has sapped our energy.
“We work, do schooling and then have to muster up the energy to be parents of three at the end of the day.
“We got lazy, we get cranky and we have taken shortcuts. Too many takeaway meals, too much TV, too much escaping on our own computers to get some time alone. We have also gotten shorter with the kids. We just don’t possess the patience we once had.
“Today was Father’s Day. My oldest spent the week making things for me. Cards, ‘why I love my dad’ letters. Making me love hearts in Lego.”
Unfortunately, the dad claimed that he got mad at his son who had “scraped off some chocolate topping from the cake due after dinner.”
And like expected, his son began to cry and told his dad he felt unappreciated.
The son told him: “I did all this stuff for you this week dad to show you how much I love you and this is how you show me how much you love me.”
The dad continued in his realization that the pandemic had changed him: “That moment and line snapped me back into reality. He worked hard all week for me and I completely ruin his day, the day he has been excited about for a week.
“I heartfelt apologized, something I’m not used to doing, and give him some cake. That night I am tucking him in as he is sad that Father’s Day was a bad one because he got told off.
“I was always proud of my parenting. Over the last few years, I’ve become emotionally vacant and have spent hours getting professional help. No excuses intended but it links back to the early passing of my dad. A hero of mine.
“I’ve become everything I set out to never be and this has been exaggerated by lockdowns and Covid-19. Keeping our heads above water is a good analogy for our current lives.
‘My parenting has deteriorated over the last 2 years.
Many parents rushed to the comment section to make this distraught father feel better, as they had also been struggling to be better parents during the pandemic.
One person wrote: “You’ve taught your son how to express his feelings and he clearly still feels connected enough to you to tell you when you’ve hurt him. That’s huge.
“We all get in ruts and need that reality check sometimes. Good for you for being receptive to that, don’t beat yourself up too much. You obviously have a solid foundation with him to start building on to again.”
A second one responded: “Can I just say even the fact that you noticed he was upset, responded, and want to do better makes you a kickass dad already?
“Kudos. Hang in there. We’re all out here making Covid messes of our kiddos. You’re doing great.”
And a third one said: “I think you’re a good dad. You noticed something you did wrong and you apologized. I wouldn’t have half the issues I have today if my parents just said sorry!
“The pandemic’s been hard, had a toll on people’s mental health and regardless he still thinks you’re a great dad (reflected in all the things he did in the week for you). I think apologizing is a great parental skill that a lot (even the better of the bunch) parents lack.”
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