So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

After a restless night with little sleep, I woke up Saturday in a less-than-positive mood.

It was a rough morning with my children. Every question and request was returned with condescension. Even the simplest everyday request was met with undeserving hostility. I could hear my words and the tone, but it was too late. I tried to correct course, but found myself making the same mistake minutes later. My frustration grew as the minor misbehaviors from my kids turned into more frequent and greater ones.

I took them to the park with the hope that I could sit while they ran off energy. I wanted to sit, I needed to rest. I was in a bad mood.

To my dismay, they pulled at my arm for a push on the swing, to chase them, to catch them on the slides. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just go play. They didn’t need me in order to play.

Need a simple activity to do outside with your kids? We’ve got you covered: Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Dads and Kids

Punishments were dished out in the form of a toy being taken away and shortening playtime at the park. The more I disciplined them, the more I hurt myself and the cycle continued. I tried to reset multiple times but didn’t have the will power to respond and serve with kindness. I was mentally too far gone and as the day progressed it became more apparent that I wasn’t going to get back on track. It was a long day of the kid’s defiance and my continued defeat.

We continued to punish each other throughout the day and into the bedtime routine. Exhausted, I laid in bed staring at the ceiling. Playing the victim, I replayed the events of the day.

My thoughts began to pivot as I reviewed the conflicts. I was tired and in a bad mood. I can’t say that was a good excuse but that was a fact.

Looking back, my kids just wanted to spend time with me. Each question, each tug at the arm, each request to play.

It was all an attempt to spend time with me. Time we don’t get during the week. They were so quick to forgive my attitude minutes before, and they still wanted to spend time with me.

I started to take accountability for the day I created and the behaviors I saw from my kids.

With the help of some sleep, I woke up feeling great Sunday morning. My kids asked the same questions. I served each request with love, and presented it with a smile. I even smiled at their time-sensitive high demands: a glass of water for my son, a glass of milk for my daughter, pancakes for both, no sausage for one, a yogurt for the other. Except the yogurt couldn’t be in the plastic container, it had to be in the green bowl with the blue spoon.

With this new attitude, I had one of the best days with my kids.

RELATED: Having Kids Motivates You To Be a Better Man

I pushed them on the swing for a short time before they played on the rest of the equipment, while I relaxed and watched.

We spent time at the pool where I was able to toss them into the air and race from one end to the other. We went for a short walk where we were able to simply talk. The kids were incredible and the time was of true quality. We laughed, cuddled, and held hands while we watched a movie and at popcorn.

Their smiles made me smile. It was one of those days where I could really just enjoy each moment, each activity, and I knew they enjoyed it too.

There was no coincidence that my behavior set up the day for success.

My response to my kids was reflected in how they responded to me—I created the mood for Saturday, and I controlled the day Sunday. It had everything to do with what I brought to the day.

Ultimately, I realized it’s important for me to take care of myself so I can be the best version of me for my kids.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
How to Stop Being an Angry Dad
Trying So Hard to Be a Good Dad Almost Stole the Joy of Fatherhood
20 Easy Ways For Dads to Spend Quality Time With Their Daughters

Dan Kunde

I am married with two young children, a boy and a girl. I am a hospital administrator in Las Vegas, Nevada. I teach online nursing courses for a University in Indiana. We love exercising, being in the mountains, and doing anything in the water. I enjoy writing about growing as a Christian, husband, father, and balancing a demanding professional life while being present for my family.

It Doesn’t Matter How Old I Am—I’ll Always Need My Daddy

In: Fatherhood, Grown Children, Living
Vintage photo of little girl on bike with her dad

I have always been a Daddy’s girl, much to my mom’s frustration.  She always said my dad and I were wired the same, and that’s why it’s always just “worked.” Sure, we have had our struggles and frustrations—when two people think almost the exact same way, certainly there will be battles. But my dad has always had my back, without fail.   Whether he had to question a school decision or staff my senior class retreat (yes, my dad is featured in my high school yearbook), I knew he would be there. He thought he would lose me someday, that having...

Keep Reading

I’m Just a Little Boy, but Daddy You’re Teaching Me How to Be a Man

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Daddy on the floor playing with son, color photo

I’m only a little boy, still too young to tie my own shoes or make my own breakfast. My days are filled with playtime, snacks, lots of hugs from Mommy, and plenty of tickles from you, Daddy. Right now, my life revolves around me and you and Mommy. I don’t know much about the world outside our home yet. I haven’t learned about responsibility or self-discipline or sacrifice. I haven’t had to find my place in the world yet. But I guess I’m pretty lucky because even though you may not know it, you’ve already begun teaching me everything I...

Keep Reading

You’re the Father You Never Had and I’m So Proud of You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Dad and kids walking on beach

Can I tell you about my husband? He’s amazing. He’s kind and doting and loves Jesus, but perhaps his most endearing trait is the absolutely incredible father he is.  In our early days of dating, he was crippled by the fear of what type of father he would be. To him, fatherhood was burdensome, grumbling, abandonment, and fighting for the final dollar during tax season. His experience as a son crippled his anticipation as a father.  But I knew it all along—what an incredible dad he would be. Although I must admit, he has often far surpassed what I even...

Keep Reading

To the Stay At Home Mom From Your Husband: I See You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

To the woman who sacrificed her comfort zone—leaving her family, friends, and everything she’d ever known—to follow her new husband across the country for his job: I see you. To the wife who pours herself into making a house her home, only to have to move again: I see you. To the wife who put her career, education, and personal pursuits on hold for the sake of her family: I see you. To the mom who went through pain and misery for nine months, only to have motherhood turn out to be nothing like she’d dreamed and longed for it...

Keep Reading

I Struggled With My Son’s Diagnosis, But Found Hope in the Special Needs Community

In: Fatherhood, Tough Times

When I found out I was going to be a father I was beyond excited. My wife and I had been trying to conceive for years before she got pregnant. So, when she told me I was going to be a father I wanted to shout it to the rooftops! I made sure to call my wife every day at work to make sure she ate lunch. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of her. We later found out that we were having a boy, and started to plan everything. We started to paint the baby room with blues...

Keep Reading

My Son is Growing Up, But I’ll Hold On To the Pictures Forever

In: Fatherhood

A certain part of my heart longs for these moments to never change. I look back on pictures like this one, where my oldest son tastes the salty breeze on his lips for the first time, feeling the sand underneath his toes and laughing out loud at this wholly new experience. I look back and want to freeze it, but in something more than a single picture, more solid than a flimsy memory, more lifelike in substance than what a camera can fashion. RELATED: Stay With Me a Little Longer, Daddy Because that little person who could not stand without...

Keep Reading

I Want My Sons to See How Important It is to Cover Your Wife

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

Transparent moment—I did not always do the best job of covering my wife. Early in our marriage, I was often guilty of being selfish. Our first of four childbirths had contentious moments. From the whistle I jokingly wore on our first trip to the hospital while she was in labor, to me telling her in the midst of her frustration that if we didn’t have the baby that night, she could decide if she’d go into work the next day—I’m not proud of the way I handled some of the challenges. RELATED: 5 Ways To Love Your Wife After the...

Keep Reading

Dads: Your Kids Love Doing Things Because They Get to Do Them With You

In: Fatherhood

This piece was co-written with the author’s husband, Nathan Glenn. I remember my husband taking our daughter golfing for the first time and wondering if she’d enjoy it like he did. He’d dress our kids up in Pittsburgh gear, hoping they’d love the Steelers and Pirates and Penguins as much as he does. When we imagined our someday kids, he hoped he’d have someone that would want to play catch with him and go sit on the banks for hours fishing. Now here we are over a decade into this parenting three thing, and our oldest has her own clubs...

Keep Reading

This British Dad’s Parody of Orlando Bloom’s Daily Routine Has Us Cracking Up

In: Fatherhood

Two men on the same parenting journey see things a bit differently. Read to the end for this British dad’s hilarious take on what it’s like to be a father if you’re not a famous A-list celebrity. Ever since his cinematic debut as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings film series, celebrity actor Orlando Bloom has been capturing hearts around the world. Let’s be honest, we all know why our wives were so excited when Pirates of the Caribbean hit theatres. Outside of fantasy, there’s not much that makes Mr. Bloom relatable to the average Joe. However, parenthood tends...

Keep Reading

How My Husband Used a Classic Dad Move to Teach a Lesson in Gratitude

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

“Don’t make me pull this car over!” I bet you’re picturing your dad driving the family station wagon and shouting this over his shoulder at the peak of lost sanity while on a family trip. Or maybe fast forward, and it’s your own carload of kids! In the world of classic dad moves, this one might be boss. My husband pulled this move recently. Except, this cool cat put such a beautiful, modern, mindful dad twist on it. RELATED: Here’s to the Dads Who Keep Calm When Their Kids Are Losing it First came a long full day of family...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.