When our first child is born we are filled with a warm feeling that fills us with hope, innocence, and a deep desire to protect and love that child. In those first moments we make heavy commitments about how good of fathers we are going to be and how we are going to help that child grow into a perfect person fully prepared to take on the world. Over time however, complacency sets in.
Complacency is a part of every aspect of our lives. We become complacent in the way we drive, work, exercise, and about everything else that we repeat on a regular basis. As we become more comfortable and confident doing anything we also become more complacent.
Complacency doesn't happen over night. One day you don't go from being an awesome and patient father to having a short temper and no compassion for feelings. It happens a little bit at a time, day after day, month after month. One day we lose patience and the next day it is easier to lose patience because we are all professional self-justifiers. We work hard to convince ourselves that our actions, no matter how slightly or grossly past the line of acceptable, are in fact justifiable based on the circumstances.
Think back on the feeling you had when you became a dad. Think of the vision you had about how your child was going to grow and to learn. Imagine in your mind the conversations that you dreamed of having with your child. Remember those things and choose to re-commit to being the father you said you would be. Reset the clock, apologize to your children when you cross the line, and be the father that they best deserve.