Expat Dad: Free time good, having children; better

No matter how much people love their kids, there will still be brief, nostalgic moments in which they have a self-confession about ‘what they could be doing now’ or ‘what they could be doing better’. This may also be known as ‘daydreaming with a good excuse’, about why you aren’t hiking in Borneo / running your own business / not fat. It is all, of course, because you have a child.


If it wasn’t for your dear little sweetums, you would surely be everything that a person could ever be, and would be doing interviews on television about the intricate secrets and inspirations to your (huge) success. Oh yes.


A mother may willfully and happily devote her entire life to her children, yet there may still be that moment where she sees a young woman walking down the street – well-dressed, body presumably in mint, unstretched condition; her entire outfit not only the sign of someone who has money to spend on themselves, but also time to spend five hours shopping to collate that very specific look. She’s unburdened, she’s acutely fashionable, she’s going to meet her friends to do… anything she feels like for as long as she feels like doing it.


A father might be doing his job – Dad – without ever asking for any single thing back. Without ever accusing anyone of ‘taking him for granted’, or an assumption that he should do anything but be a working Dad. Yet every now and then, he’ll see other men planning another deliberately silly evening / weekend / road trip, on which consuming alcohol and upsetting single women are the main aims.



Not that this is a personal lament. Personally, I do not have such thoughts. This is not (only) because I am a great Dad, but also because I am the world’s most boring man. Actually the second most boring. I met someone even more boring than me, his name is Craig.


Anyway, this is just a simple muse on the enormous effects of (good) parenting.


And, no matter any ‘restrictions’ that some may think parenting has, nothing could ever beat the highs.


Last winter, when it was cold, I’d warmed my daughter’s night clothes on the radiator. Putting them on, she giggled with delight at the warmth, and spontaneously exclaimed: “Wow! You’re the best Daddy!”


And it doesn’t get better than that.


Categories: Expat Life


Foreigner in Shanghai


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  1. Expat Dad: Kids – very difficult, very easy | Developing City - December 10, 2012

    […] look at these people and think ‘you are wasting your time’. Because, as mentioned, parents can day-dream about ‘the things that we could do’ if we didn’t have kids […]

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