Fatherhood does not have a manual

Growing up I always pictured how life would be when I finally became a father. From where I was sited I always felt my father was enjoying life to the fullest. But now I understand that things are not as easy as they seem. Being a father is not easy, especially when you do not have people (mentors) to talk to about life.

Life back then when I was young was easy for me, but for my parents, I doubted things were okay every day. I did not have any worries about life, my main goal was to study and get good grades that would help me land a better job. My parents were able to put the 5 of us to school and I remember at some point he had three kids in university, one in secondary and the last one still in primary. The house we used to stay in back then was still rented and every end of month landlord had to be paid.

I remember when growing up my father used to tell us that one day would be leaving on our own. He would not be there and we would have other people depending on us. My brothers and sisters will also have their own lives and will not be able to help me at times. Everyone will have their own responsibilities and obligations for their household. If am eating in my house and my sibling has not eaten anything I would not know that unless they share.

Now am all grown up, I am now considered an adult by law and reality has kicked in. I have my own family and people looking at me for solutions. Sometimes I do not have all the right answers to every problem or challenge I face. I would like to talk with my father about fatherhood but he is not alive. Being a man is very hard for me to sit down with my mum, sisters, or wife. There are things you can only discuss with a man, especially the one you trust. For my family, I want to be their superhero and be able to provide them with everything they need.

I would like to be the perfect father to my kids and husband to my wife. I want to take all my kids to the best schools and give them everything I never had. My dad was always in my life but we never went for activities like swimming or camping together. These are things I would like to do with my kids. I want them to learn how to swim from me, how to ride a bicycle, or even drive a car. I want to even take them out for camping and introduce them to activities I like doing like fishing and travelling.

I would like to take my wife to the best restaurants in town. Spoil her with fine dress, wine, and roses every week. Take her on vacations to different countries or even around Kenya. My dream is to build a house in Nairobi or buy an apartment somewhere in Kileleshwa and then start building our retirement home before I reach 40 years old. At least if I start early I would not be stressed when it is time to take kids to university. My retirement would not just be a basic normal house but a modern one with a swimming pool on a big farm. The dream is to have a big farm and keep a couple of animals including goats, sheep, and chickens. I also want to plant a lot of fruitful trees so when I finally have grandchildren visiting us at home. I want when my grandchildren to visit me at home they would find fruits and rest below the shed of the tree.

Maybe if there was a manual it would assist in raising kids as we grow together. Juggling between being a parent and being my kid’s friend is not easy. I do not want to be so tricked that even my kids would fear me. I want them to know and feel comfortable around me at the same time respect me as an adult and their father. I want them to be able to talk to me about everything so that in case they face some difficulty they would know I got their back. Growing up at least my dad would tell us stories about his life when he was young, his pets, and many other stories about his life. I got those qualities from him. I tell my stories to my kids and I know they enjoy my stories because they keep on asking for more stories. This is bonding and I would also like to tell my grandchildren about my life experiences both the good and bad side of my life.

My kids are my life and I love them dearly and equally. They are my best friends and even if life gets rough for me they will still make me smile. I know that not every day things will be perfect between us. During their teenage years, things might get rough or we might not be able to be close like when they were younger. Maybe there is a blueprint of raising kids and this was passed down from our parents. You want to raise your kids better than how you were raised and provide them everything you had and extra.

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