How I Learned to Love Dadcore
Michael Richardson

Haha…. I think we all get it to a certain degree. From birth to kindergarten are the most challenging ( worst) and best years of our lives as parents.

I was miserable being a mom, for the first three years of it.

Why? Because for me, of course I cut off my previous life like it was no ones business , I mean I didn’t even hang out with my friends that smoked; I sent the cat away to my sister in laws, I stopped using curse words. I stopped wearing make up and listening to my old music.

What I figured out later was that I thought being a “good mom” was being my mom. And my mom was a perfect mom. My mom was a virgin when she got married. My mom was homecoming queen. My mom was president of her student body. She did motherhood the same way. Perfectly. Four course meals every night. Sewing curtains and dresses as quilts. Making brownies for brownies and being the cub mom for Boy Scouts. Her entire life was dedicated to being a mom. Even my dad complained about them never going out.

So I tried to be her. And I couldn’t be. And I was so utterly miserable I thought I didn’t even like being a mom.

Then I had this epiphany, (In other words nervous breakdown) and I was like

Fuck this.

I’ve gotta be me.

I decided to forge my own trail and be the mom that I wanted to be. Be the mom that I had to be to not go ballistic.

I decided to live my life with my kids.

That sounds like every other person I know.

But for me, it meant taking my kids to places that most people don’t take them. Salsa club try outs and salsa club dance night. My new moon rituals and to the park to hang out with my friends. Tango dancing on Saturday nights. Earth festivals. My kids were with me everywhere and they were exposed to all my crazy friends. We lived like gypsies. I took them to pick friends up that were too drunk to drive. They watched me get tattoos. I threw parties and my kids served snacks.

My family thought I was totally insane.

I was sober though. Have to add that.

Never drank or used drugs.

And guess what?

My kids loved it. My kids want to write a book about their “crazy childhood” that they miss so much. My kids are some of the smartest, least judgmental, most loving and kind and empathic kids you’ve ever met.

People tell me that they can’t believe how mature and wise my kids are.

They both are great students and doing pretty good.

They had a bad dad. It was that nervous breakdown that also led me to leave him.

Would I do it different? No. Except I would have them with me even more and would love to go back and cuddle with them one more time in my bed all night.

It was a wonderful life. I don’t buy into any of it. Into any of that bullshit they force down our throats on how to do it.

Kids need a few things and those are , unconditional love, forgiveness, acceptance, truth, fairness, non violence, calm parents that are always emotionally available for them.

My kids adore me. Totally. And they are teens!!!!! Even their friends adore me. I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that my daughters are going to be my best friends. That we have that. That we’ve had it since they were little. That bond.

Kids need to know us. Who we really are. I think it helps them forgive themselves and accept themselves and love who they are.

Of course I wouldn’t recommend my style of parenting unless you can pick up the slack emotionally. You absolutely have to be there for them and take care of them. They need that too. Good food. Clean house. Discipline that makes sense. Safety. Etc.

Well anyways. Thanks for being there for your kids. We need dads. We really do.

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