As a parent of 3 boys (ages 9, 7, and 3), being UNSTOPPABLE is a requirement. Unstoppable is defined as being impossible to stop or prevent. I love being a dad of boys and my wife loves being a boy mom. Our reality is that we will never stop being a parent – our boys will never let us stop, my wife will never let me stop, and I will never let my wife stop.
When I married my wife, I committed myself to being unstoppable as a husband. I committed myself to not letting anything prevent me from being the husband she deserved. When we had, Madden (our first son), we both committed ourselves to being unstoppable parents. We recommitted to that promise two additional times. We made the decision to not let anything stop or prevent us from being the parents our boys deserved.
During the past 9 years, there have been many obstacles that have attempted to stop us from being good parents. Raising boys is not easy and no one told us it would be. Our boys try to stop us (intentionally and sometimes unintentionally) from being parents in many ways by:
- testing our faith
- testing our endurance (emotionally and physically)
- testing our patience
- asking more questions than anyone can possibly fathom
- pushing our buttons
- trying to break us down
One of our three boys is always sick, upset, frustrated, wanting to start a fight, dragging behind (especially when we are in a hurry), uncooperative, resisting, asking questions, not listening, doing his own thing, and just being a boy.
Just to help you understand, here is an example of a day in our life when my wife and our oldest son was away at camp:
- The day started when I received a rude awakening. Some people snore, some people talk in their sleep, and some people walk in their sleep. Max however karate kicks. I discovered Max in my bed this morning when he decided to karate kick me in the face while he was sound asleep. I was perplexed that he remained sound asleep while sharing with me his karate-kick-to-my-face alarm clock.
- A little later that morning, I took Max to swim lessons against his will. As the teacher came to get his group, his crying escalated which stimulated every kid to start crying. It reminded me of the scene in “Stand By Me” when the one kid wanted to get revenge on the entire town at the pie eating contest.
- After swim lessons, I took Miles and Max to swim at our pool. As I put sunscreen on Miles, I heard Max say “I put on my sunscreen.” You can see how that turned out in the pic and you can probably guess that he didn’t let me help him smear it in.
- After we finished swimming, I gave Max some goldfish. As he was eating the goldfish, Miles decided he wanted one – one of Max’s goldfish to be exact. As Miles tried to get one, Max resisted. The more Miles persisted, the more Max resisted until Miles decided to get Maggie’s dog bone and use it to stir Max’s goldfish.
- Later that evening, I took Miles to swim lessons. When Miles went to swim, Max begged to do swim lessons. I tried looking at that with hope rather than with regret. If you recall, earlier that morning Max couldn’t stand the thought of swimming lessons. Now that it isn’t his turn he can’t stand the thought of not doing swim lessons. Go figure.
- During Miles’ swim lesson, I played with Max and the toy trucks he brought. The other kids also waiting began to play. As I sat inside the big boat playground, I was suddenly hit in the head with one of the toy trucks after one of the kids decided it would be a good idea to throw it through the window of the boat.
Being a parent is tough. It is hard work. It is emotional and it is physical. Luckily, I have a great wife that helps me be and become a better parent. She has no problem reminding me when I mess up and she has no problem stepping in when the boys break me down. Hopefully, I do the same for her when they break her down. One of our pediatrician’s pointed out to us that my wife and I probably don’t feel broke down at the same time. When one of us breaks down, the other can step up and cover.
As parents, we have to be unstoppable or we will let down our boys (as well as society). We can’t let anything keep us from fulfilling our responsibilty of being a parent. As hard as it has been, as hard as it is now, and as hard as it will be in the years to come, my wife and I will never stop. We will be unstoppable.