Why Dad Feels Anxious About The Thought Of A 2nd Child

2 years, 5 months.

Disclaimer: Contains potentially confusing viewpoints that may be exclusive to the male mindset.

Dear Jack,

The main reason I feel anxious about the thought of having another child is not the financial aspect, or even the fact we only have a 2 bedroom townhouse; it’s knowing that I would be placed in that frustrating position again of not knowing what to do on a daily basis.

Sure, I’d know more of what I was doing the 2nd time around, but it would also be on top of taking care of you too; though you demand less attention than you did when you were a baby.

To see me in my worst element is to see me in a high pressure, reoccurring situation where I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. For me, that was the first 15 months of your life; back when you wouldn’t let me take care of you without Mommy being in the same room.

Therefore, I couldn’t feel like I was leading our family, and it made me feel horrible about myself.

Just to be clear, I don’t mind high pressure at all. In fact, I like the challenge of it; given that I’ve been well trained on the subject.

It’s no secret: I find my self-worth not in how others see me, but in how I see myself. If I don’t feel in control, or at least that I know what my role is, I sort of feel worthless.

Now that you’re well beyond the age of 15 months, in fact, days away from being double that, my frustrating days of flat-out not knowing what to do in regards to being a dad are mostly a thing of the past; back in the year 2011.

As for modern day life, I know my role now; every minute of the day, and I love it!

In addition to being your official chauffeur, bedtime singer, protector from monsters… I also am the official dishwasher, bathroom cleaner, garbage man, vacuumer, relationship mediator, and the parent juggling two jobs outside of home life.

Every night, after our family eats dinner, I know that once Mommy takes you upstairs for your bath, I am going to immediately start washing and drying all the dishes, then wipe off the counter, and vacuum; just in time to go upstairs and sing your final bedtime song.

While it would be really nice to just chill out after dinner instead of doing housework, I don’t even mind. The reason: Because it sure beats the heck out of those first 15 months when I didn’t know my role.

As your dad, who is wired to fix problems and lead others, it’s very challenging for me to… I’m trying to think of a way to say this without using the PG version slang word…

I like to be driving the motorcycle, not riding in the sidecar.

(Watch the movie Garden State, when you’re older, to fully understand the reference. “Sidecars are for…”.)

What I am saying is that right now, I don’t feel like I’m riding in the sidecar. I feel like our life is predictable enough now where I don’t taste the chaos in the air anymore.

I love having this peace in my head; not dwelling on my inabilities to successfully figure out what exactly I’m supposed to do every single second. I love knowing what to do.

Ah, if and when the time comes for a 2nd child, I fear losing that again.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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