I had it all. I mean other than an abundance of wealth, a bright career and stable mental health. Ok scratch that out, I had what matters most to me. Two beautiful children and a wonderful wife who were, more often than not, the best part of my life. I mean sometimes they were bellends but 99% of the time they were a slice of heaven. That life had been, since I was a child, the big, old, ultimate dream. But what happens when that dream decides to pack its bags full of hope, slam the door of happiness in your face and say “ciao, see you later you knob”? Well as it turns out you don’t necessarily take it overlywell to say the least.
You cry more than you ever thought possible and then some more and then a little bit more again (it turns out Toy Story 3 wasn’t the saddest thing ever, who knew?). This is reflected in your choice of music you listen to. It makes a funeral playlist look like the set list for a school disco. “Yes Adele, I know you are going through some bloody relationship issues but me and Daniel Powter are discussing why I have had such a Bad Day”.
You make diet choices that make your kids insaitiable desire to eat McNuggets everyday seem a reasonable life choice. All the while you become a conniseur of day time television and scheduling your day around Come Dine With Me.
You worry about your past. Was I not loving enough? Was I too loving? Maybe I should of been more loving but somehow less loving? Was I that awful at cleaning? I mean I am sure there must be a class for that I could take. Was it my lack of skill in the kitchen? I just wanted to save everyone from food poisoning and fires by cooking exclusively the basics. Oh God, was I awful in the bedroom department…. look following IKEA instructions is not that simple, sometimes the screw goes in the wrong hole and you end up with a wonky bed.
You worry about your future? Who would ever want to date a blubbering man with the next stage evolution of the Dad bod whose main skills are being able to tell you the winner of The Chase and serve you scrambled egg on an unmade, wonky bed? Then that soul destroying thought smacks you like a tonne of bricks being shot out of a high powered cannon: will my kids find another Dad?
Then it hits you one day. The motivation you need. You wipe your tears, brush off the Dorito crumbs and switch off Friends (even though it is a great episode, the one where Joey learns French). You mask your sadness, your guilt or your anger and step up. Your kids need you now more than ever. So have fun with them every moment you can, engage in their interests, do crafts and activities, be more involved with them now more than you were ever in marriage, spoil them (not just in gifts but with love), don’t let your emotions consume you and most importantly realise you are their Dad or Mum, with or without a spouse.