(PHOENIX - June 15, 2018) - “To be or not to be?” Shakespeare famously asked. I have sarcastically likened fatherhood to this very calculated question - to be or not to be a father?
The day I learned a life was brewing and I was going to be a father, I had many thoughts and questions. That was the day I decided I was going to be a father, not only a father, but the best father that I could possibly be. I also decided that my fathering style would be a combination of showing my children all that I wish I had been shown, along with allowing a sense of freedom that nurtures growth and responsibility. Therefore, that day, I proclaimed to be the father that I currently am and continue to be…
Fatherhood is about understanding who you are and extending yourself to your children in the most selfless way. It comes in the form of losing sleep, exhausting energy, and developing a way of living that is most conducive to the child’s success. It’s a father’s role to expose a child to the ways of life in order to maximize their potential and improve their life.
I embraced fatherhood wholeheartedly. I grew into the role quite naturally. Simply put, the symbiotic relationship between father and seed is esoteric in nature and exactly what you choose to make it. Daily, I am a responsive, nurturing, structured, and loving parent. Since fully embracing and accepting fatherhood, I am in a conscious state of being the best father I can be, which is second to the experience of being a father.
Fatherhood is more than a role, it’s an experience of a lifetime. I catch myself saying things like, “I have never known such a love like the one I have for my daughters,” and “…watching them (my girls) grow up has taught me so much about myself, who I am, and most importantly, who I want to be.” I catch myself trying to live an organized and planned life, only to find that out that “this is my daughters’ world,” I just live in it. Each and every moment of my life is somehow shaped and defined by their being.
Because of fatherhood, I am the best man I could possibly be and have reached a certain level of self-actualization. I am blessed and honored to be my daughters’ father and to experience fatherhood with loving, energetic, humorous, and enigmatic children. Fatherhood from an evolutionary standpoint means that my life’s purpose is done, but in reality, because of fatherhood, my life has only just begun.
Ricardo Aldana is a Talent Acquisition Coordinator for Southwest Behavioral & Health Services.