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It can be a never-ending feeling of responsibility when being a father becomes part of your identity.

The role of father is one that I embraced completely. I dove headfirst into all of it—changing diapers, putting them to bed, burping, and holding them whenever possible.

I relished the opportunities. It was a lot of time and effort, but the rewards were worth it.

I loved coming home from work and having my smiling children run to the door and yell “Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home!”

I would scoop them up and hug them for all I was worth.

I would scoop them up and hug them for all I was worth.

As they got older, I co-taxied with their mother–driving here and there to sports, piano and swim lessons, school activities, Parent/Teacher interviews, award nights, etc. There was never a dull moment in a house with four children.

I did my best to provide for them. I worked hard at my career to ensure there would be enough money, now and in the future, to support them for what ever they desired. 

We did what we could to raise them to be honest, independent and vibrant human beings.

I felt responsible for my children, and for my family.

I felt responsible for my children, and for my family. I felt responsible for ensuring they were safe and well cared for.

But when does it end? When does that feeling of being responsible for your children end? Does it ever?

That feeling of responsibility had become part of who I was. It was ingrained into my sense of identity.

It has been a challenge to completely remove myself from the role of provider and being responsible for them. Now that my children are adults, my role must change. If it doesn’t, I will enable a child-like dependency in my children in how they see me as a father, and I will continue to respond to them in the same way as when they were young. 

It is necessary for me, and for them, that I change being responsible for them, to being responsible to them.

I am responsible to them to have a shoulder to cry on, to be there to share moments of joy and of pain. 

I have a responsibility to be at my best in order to be an elder, mentor, and a positive example.

I have a responsibility to be at my best in order to be an elder, mentor, and a positive example.

I am no longer responsible for their day-to-day personal and financial well-being. They are adults, and have a responsibility for themselves.

I am slowly peeling away the old version of me as a father, and  creating a version that is more appropriate for the different stages in our lives.

I have a responsibility to my children, and I have a responsibility for me.

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