Every father (every parent, to be fair) learns to live with a sort of contradiction.

On one side, you know your kids are the most important thing in life. You would do anything for them, and in many cases you do. You put them first when you plan, you consider their feelings and needs to an extent you have never before experienced. You change your habits, your routines, your hobbies, and your interests.

On the other side, you gradually learn that you are the most important thing in their lives. That your sacrifice is often not needed, and sometimes even counterproductive. That your stretching yourself too thin means your kids will have to deal with a cranky and angry adult. And they will learn that’s how you are supposed to behave. That planning half an hour to do your stuff, undisturbed, will allow you to dedicate your full attention to them for the following couple of hours.

And so, we live with this contradiction, we struggle to find a balance, we tell ourselves stories. Until we realize that it is not a contradiction at all. No one who does not take care of themselves can expect to have a healthy relationship with anybody, let alone kids.

You put yourself first, to put them first.

Happy Father’s Day (in the Nordic Countries, at least)!

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