Confessions of a selfish dad

This post has been bubbling around in my head since Father’s Day.

Do any other dads feel this way? I’m frustrated with the way I seem to always think of myself (or just my stuff) before my kid. I have two stories that seem to cement this in my head.

After a short afternoon playing in the park, Jack was walking back to the car with me, and tripped over his feet. He scraped his lip on the sidewalk, and blood started dripping everywhere. Instead of cradling him on my shoulder (like he needed), I was afraid I’d get blood on my shirt, and held him out awkwardly so it dripped on the ground.

What a schmuck (that’s what my journal says too)! How did I get hired for this gig anyway; valuing my clothes over the love my son needs.

The second time actually happened on Father’s Day weekend. Jack was working on a painting project for grandpas (red handprints and smears on bird feeders). Jack was freaked out after smearing the latex paint all over himself, and wanted to be held. We had the tub filling, but I had to transport him there. Instead of holding him close and taking him back, I grabbed his shoulders (upper arms) and held him out in front of me as I took him back to the tub.

Second time, what a schmuck!

What kind of a dad am I that I value my own crap over my kid? A shirt is easily replaced, that moment to comfort my child is not.

Am I the only one who struggles with this? How have you overcome it? What steps do you take to make sure your actions show you value your child(ren) more than your self or your stuff? I could really use advice on this.