Movember Travis Harth Father's Day
Travis HarthImage by: Movember
Movember Travis Harth Father's Day
2 June 2021

Movember Community Ambassador Travis Harth shares his experience as a father

3 minutes read time

I had always known I wanted to be a dad, but when I actually became one, I found I was (and still am) beyond not ready. From the doctor handing me my daughter right after birth (vs. mom like I’d assumed would happen from the movies...) to me trying to comprehend all the things a teenage girl is into; I’ve felt like I’ve been on my heels trying to catch up. But I would not change it for the world. Part of the fun is when I catch up and pass her and the roles are reversed, and I get to share my experiences and knowledge.

Being a dad is the greatest thing in the world but takes on-going work. There are times that I feel completely inadequate in the role and question “am I doing enough” or wonder if the other dads out there are doing it better. That can take a toll on you mentally, but I try to divert those concerns into positive energy as I watch her continue to grow and blossom into an amazing human being. Taking those small moments to self-validate that I must be doing something right helps keep the dad machine running. Work and selfish ignorance had me away or distracted for a good portion of her youth, with her mom then (and now) doing most of the parenting. I know now that I can’t get that time back, and work hard to be as present as I can.

" Dadvice: 'Live in the now. Be present in the now. Their future will be here faster than you want it.' "

I spent a lot of time absorbed in what I was doing or what I felt was important, not taking a pause to step back, put myself in her lens and try to see what was important to her at various intervals in her life. I spent years waiting for her to get old enough where I could take her out and do what I liked, thinking how great it would be to share those things with her. What I missed was a childhood that quickly disappeared with an adult emerging.That’s when I realized too late, she’d be an adult her whole life, but a kid for only so long. Gone are the days of her asking me to push her on the swing or one more time down the slide. Of being at the bottom of the sledding hill ready to stop her. Doing family swim and helping her off the diving board for the first time. Those are things that have a short shelf life and I passed right by it hoping to get to where I wanted her to be.

To the new dad’s or the pending dad’s out there –don’t rush it. Enjoy those tea parties, kid movies, coloring outside the lines, stomping in puddles and all the things’ adults don’t do. Before you know it, your little bundle of joy will be asking for gas money and texting you that they will be home later. You’ll have their whole adult lives to do “your” things with them, make sure you do “theirs” when they are still the age to do so. And be ok if you don't always get it right, it's the aggregate of your efforts, work hard to be there consistently for them.