Overrated Things About Being a Dad

“Nick Jr.”

I hear that a lot about my kids. Pretty much anytime someone interacts with them. Even though it typically follows some loud or obnoxious thing they’ve done, I always take it as a compliment. Not because I think it has any reflection on me, but because my kids are awesome. And I choose to interpret it as an acknowledgement of that fact.

I’ve always told myself that no matter what my kids’ interests ended up being, I’d be fine with it. What difference does it make? And I believe that. But as my son showed off his hockey medals today during his last virtual show-and-tell of a crazy year, I couldn’t help but think about how cool it is that my kids generally like the same things that I do. They could play an instrument, but no, they’d rather play wiffle ball in the backyard. I’d give some other example, but I don’t know what else people do. Let’s just build a big fire. Being their dad is great.

But that’s not why we’re here right now. I’m here to talk about the overrated things about being a dad. Not bad things; I love being a dad so much I’m gonna do it again and maybe do it right this time. No. The annoying things, the overrated things that you don’t know about until it’s too late. A quick list that I put zero thought into:

  • eating the scraps after dinner
    • Oh you didn’t eat all of your food? I’m not saving this. Time for the human garbage disposal to do his work.
  • eating cookies on Christmas Eve
    • I ate half your dinner and then the regular cookies I wanted to eat. Now I have to eat more? And a full glass of milk? Ugh.
  • love and attention on demand
    • “I love you, but not right now” is generally frowned upon as a life motto. Sure I’ll give you a 10th bedtime hug.
  • constantly going to sporting events that I signed my kids up for
    • I’m sure it’ll be all worth it when they’re professional athletes, but who’s idea was this?
  • general upkeep
    • Showers, teeth brushed, clean ears, clean clothes. It never ends. How about making sure their toe nails aren’t too long? No one tells you about that shit when you’re gonna have a kid.

There are assuredly more, but it’s already past my bedtime. The more important tasks that require an adult (feeding them, doctor’s appointments, their education, etc.) are almost exclusively taken care of by the adult in the household. I’m sure those are annoying too. I should ask her sometime.

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