King and Servant

“That is the thankless position of the father in the family—the provider for all, and the enemy of all.” –J. August Strindberg

When my oldest was young he told me that he hated me and that I was the “worst father ever”.  So I leaned into it, and a decade and a half later all of my kids happily introduce me as “the worst father ever” and even got me a T shirt proclaiming it.

The father eats last, because he is the leader of the family and leaders eat after their people are taken care of. 

The father has the sleepless nights worried about the finances and safety of his family.  Because we are providers and protectors, even if there are no four-legged wolves prowling outside the door.

We are the one who says no, who sets and enforces the rules.  The one that makes the hard decisions, be it medical or personal.  The boys joke about me being the King, but uneasy rests the head that wears the crown because of the terrible responsibilities resting upon a father’s shoulders.

The disciplinarian is hated for their tough love. Until they are grown, and thank us for doing what we had to do to ensure their safety and future.  This is what it means to be a father.

Being the father is the hardest, most stressful, thankless and wonderful job ever.