“There Is No Idle Time For Parents” – #40Days40Dads


Today’s entry in the #40Days40Dads project comes from another one of my friend’s James’ Milwaukee friends1, who recently welcomed his sixth child into the world.

#19: Bort2

Bort is the father of four sons–ages 7, 5, 1, and 1.5 weeks, and two daughters–ages 6 and 3.

What was the moment when you first felt like a father?

When my wife called with a positive pregnancy test.

What’s your favorite part about being a father?

When I come home from work and they all come running to the door to hug me.

What’s the hardest part about being a father?

Not enough time in the day. There’s always more stuff I should/want to be doing with them.

What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?

They wanted to watch “that TV show where it just keeps going, and it kind of changes after a while with new stuff.” Me: “Live TV? That’s not a show, it’s just a channel that isn’t recorded yet.” Them: “NO! It’s a show! I know it’s a show!” A “fight” over whether or not that was a show ensued.3

What’s your favorite thing about your kids?

Enthusiasm. They make me enjoy everything around us more than I otherwise would.
Honorable mentions:
– Reading stories to them
– Playing games with them
– Brushing hair
– Sending notes with snacks and lunches
– Trust. It’s pretty much absolute.
– The way they play together
– Their constant activity and motion

If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?

There is no idle time for parents in a household with children. There is always either (a) a child to help, care for, or play with or (b) some household task that needs doing. If you volunteer to take care of the children at every opportunity, you not only secure more time with them, you also look helpful (to your wife), probably have more fun, and (unintentionally, of course) sidestep the more mundane chore that needs doing. “I’ll take care of bedtime, honey,” also means, “I’ll get some one-on-one time with each child,” “I’ll get to read some stories,” “you’ll think I’m being a good dad,” and “someone else is cleaning up dinner.” Win-win-win-win.

Invest in a BIG recliner. With a wide seat and nice broad arms, you can put one child on each arm of the chair, one one each of your legs, and read stories to four children simultaneously, each of whom thinks that he got to sit in your lap.

If you’re a father or you know a father who would like to share his story, send him to this link to answer the questions. Stay tuned for another dad’s crib notes tomorrow!

  1. James gets the #40Days40Dads Outreach MVP award.
  2. Name has been changed to protect…something.
  3. It really was just live TV. But DVRs and streaming gave them no experience of just turning on a TV and letting new shows come on.

1 Comment

  1. Emily S. says: Reply

    My favorite part of this post was about the recliner. It brought back found memories of “sitting in my dad’s lap” as a child! I strongly agree with that advice!

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