Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Dad needs break! Think that’s funny? Well a few weeks ago, a good friend sent me this video:
Pretty funny right? I’m sure if I showed it to my wife she’d roll her eyes and say “yeah right.” She also might counter with something like the need to get out twice a week for a little retail therapy. Plus I don’t think my wallet or my waistline would be real thrilled about me going out and getting hammered twice a week. But I firmly believe that dads need a break too every once in a while.
Now I’m not much of a drinker. I usually have one or two beers a week if that, but this video, funny and maybe a little extreme as it is, has a bit of a point to it. Guys need time hanging out with friends once in awhile to stay centered or stay sane.
About a week after my buddy sent me the video I was at my wits end with the kids, overwhelmed with from the holidays, and ready to scream. So what’d I do? I took my own advice and thought Dad needs break! Once the kids were in bed I reached out to the same friend that had sent me the video with a cry for help. I can’t remember the last time I’d at a bar before that, probably before my 7-year-old was born. A half hour later we were sitting at a bar and had a few beers.
I didn’t get drunk and neither did he, but boy oh boy did I need that break. I felt loads better afterward. It was pretty incredible what just an hour or so hanging out with a guy friend can do for your mood. There’s something about hanging out with a guy friend, or a few guy friends, without the kids and the wife that is just a different way of unwinding.
What does all this mean for you? It means that despite the somewhat extreme nature of that video, that sometimes guys just need to get out with other guys to relax. In other words, dads need a break too! Just because you’re a dad doesn’t mean this is any less true for you. In fact, although the opportunities might not present themselves as often when you’re a father, I think it is just as important if not more so to get out from time to time and be away from the pressures of parenting for a while.
A lot of dads (and I’m sure moms too) fall into this mentality that when they become a dad that they’re really no longer anything else. And sure, maybe you’re a dad first and foremost, but you’re still you, and you still have interests and hobbies and friends that are separate from you being a parent. While it’s true that your life is fundamentally changed when you become a parent, just because you’re responsible for a little human doesn’t mean you should completely give up on the things you enjoy. Sometimes you just need to take a break. When you’re at that point where you’re ready to pull your hair out, just make it your mantra: Dad needs break!
I love my kids and take care of them every day, and I even volunteer with their extracurricular activities, but I still have my hobbies that I try to keep up with, video games I play, etc. It’s not unheard of for me to have a self-imposed time out so I can get 10 minutes to myself during the day (my wife does this too).
The point is, it’s okay to not be a parent 100% of the time. Sometimes it’ll make you feel a lot better to get away from your kids for a bit so that you can be better prepared to come back and handle them again. Don’t believe me? Check out what they had to say on the subject at the Harvard Business Review.
So when your kids have driven you nuts, what do you do to unwind? Do you have a friend you can turn to for a beer and a chat that’ll help you when you need to scream?
Mom’s feeling left out? See our article 15 Things Dad Can Do To Give Mom A Break