Discovering the “Me” Before Kids Again

Adam Hillis
The Dad Vault
Published in
2 min readJun 12, 2024

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Author Created Image — Midjourney

Our oldest is about to turn 12.

It feels crazy to write that…

I always wanted a family, wanted to be a husband and father. But now that I’ve been in it this long, there’s experience and context that didn’t exist 20+ years ago when I had that desire.

When I first wanted to be a family man, I didn’t know what it would actually require of me.

The reality of sacrificing time, money, and energy for all these people I love had never been a part of my existence as a man.

I’ve come to realize that there are many times I’ve sacrificed myself to be a family.

It wasn’t just time, money, and energy, but I gave part of myself away. I didn’t take care of myself. I ignored my needs thinking it was what my family needed.

But my family doesn’t need a martyr.

They need a healthy man.

One that knows himself, can communicate his needs, set boundaries, has dealt with his stuff, and can be filled up in order to be a resource.

A while back I faced the reality that I abandoned myself to serve my family, and it was actually hurtful to them. They didn’t get a great version of me has husband and father.

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Adam Hillis
The Dad Vault

Crafting educational email courses for coach/creators || Coaching men to connect w/ their wife & kids, and themselves || I juggle marriage, kids, and words