When you have children there’s a certain horrible pressure on you to be a good father. I'm not saying being a parent is terrifically difficult but there certainly is a fair bit of stress involved in the whole process. I guess it comes down to the fact that you’re continually judged when you have kids and I'm always worried about what other people think. I wish I could ignore the possible thoughts and tut-tutting of others. I wish I had that ability to sit back and relax in my stained undies and drink beer as my kids joust on bikes in the street with faeces-tipped lances while sickened neighbours stared in horror. I have way too much pride for that. Plus, I’d want to join in with my own bike and foetid jousting stick.
The other night I was tucking my eldest son into bed. He’s 5 and is starting to become acutely aware of the world. I reached across the bed to give him a kiss and he looked up and then cradled my stubbly head in his small hands. He stared me right in the eye, kissed my forehead, and said “Daddy, you like your job. I don’t ever want you to lose your job.”
“Aw, thanks little mate. I won’t lose my job”
“That’s good. Because if you lose your job we'll all starve. And then we'll die and it will be your fault that we’re all dead. Anyway, goodnight Daddy. Sleep tight.”
That’s the horrible pressure I'm talking about.