On the surface: It’s the start of 2016, and on the outside, life in my world couldn’t look better. I’m surrounded by family and friends, working my dream job in my hometown, and my beautiful wife and I are expecting our first child come the spring. My wife is also a Pediatric Nurse – a.k.a. Peyton Manning when comes to caring for young children. Becoming a Dad is the natural next step, and I’ll be great at it.
Between my ears: OMG! My wife is pregnant, and I have no idea if I’m more excited or scared for my life. I don’t know the first thing about parenting and really question how ready I am for this! Life also isn’t easy these days--my mother is very ill and it’s wearing on me. How will I also be able to perform at work?
Outcome/Reality: Shortly after my daughter was born, I lost my mother to cancer. I had a demanding career, a new child to care for, and an unshakeable personal sadness. While everyone has their own hurdles in life, honestly, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I put too much pressure on myself at work, I put too much pressure on my wife to teach me how to “parent,” and I had no guidance on how to overcome our family situation. While some suggest that time heals everything, in retrospect, my reality of being called “Dad” became the blessing of a lifetime that made all of the other difficulties that much easier to cope with. Each Saturday morning that my wife worked, and I got to spend alone with my daughter, Rylan, grew our bond and allowed me to heal. Bad days at the office or on days that I especially miss my mother no longer wear on me like they used to. Being called Dad or in my case, “Dada,” gives me new perspective on the true meaning of an individual’s life.
Fatherhood can be stressful and pretty much all of us aren’t ready for it when it happens. I’m lucky that early on in my daughter’s life I’ve recognized that one’s work, role, hobbies, etc. are things that may change many times over the course of someone’s life, but being a father is a permanent job and the best role and blessing anyone could dream of having. Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through the day.
Sean Moore, Senior Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Chicago Bulls