Ditching “Disney Dad”

2 mins read

I used to live the dream life.  Big house, two cars, a motorcycle (Ninja 250), great job and an even better community.  I got to come home and kiss my wife, wrestle with my dog, pick up a book (of course on my iPad), grab the camera and snap some pics, turn the radio up, dance with the girls and be able to go to bed within 5 mins after laying down my non-worried head.  In short, I was living the “Disney Dad” life.

According to the Urban Dictionary, a Disney Dad is “A father (usually divorced or separated) who tries to compensate for his absence by giving his kids everything and taking them everywhere during visitation.” Granted I wasn’t divorced or separated, but in a sense I could come home and be bouncy, quirky, and an “anything goes” type of guy.  This was the result of being completely disconnected with all the dynamics of my household.  In spite of how much I complimented my wife, the reality was that I had NO IDEA what it took to keep a house running.  That to be home meant to clean the kitchen (4 or 5 times a day), make beds, collect toys/shoes/clothes (2 or 10 times a day), do laundry (2 times a day), think/prepare/make many meals, do the floors, feed the dog, take the dog out, answer the phone, keep up with bills, check homework, attend PTA, give baths, read stories, pick up/drop off kids, arrange play-dates, engineer meals out of leftovers, and have a nice attitude throughout.

However this is not the case any more.  You see, since we are transitioning into our mission deployment this upcoming Summer, we have had to improvise in order to keep our family financially afloat.  One of those improv moves, has been that Tracy works at a retail department store from Monday-Friday while I stay home with the kiddos.  That’s right, no more Disney fluffy cloud, since Tracy and I have just swapped roles for the time being.

As of right now I’m the one getting up while it’s still dark, getting the big girls ready, taking them to school, coming back to make Stella’s school lunch, getting her ready, dropping Tracy off to work and Stella off to school, driving back home with the twins, making them some sort of b-fast, cleaning the kitchen mess, picking up the house, doing/folding/putting away laundry, making lunch, picking Stella back up, picking up Abi and Jillian, asking them to change out of their uniforms, checking their homework, watching cartoons, having everybody clean up, picking up Tracy from work, getting the bottom three in the bathtub and putting them to bed.

My point? God wasn’t done with me.  I could have just stayed “living” the normal life, but through this transition God has allowed me to become a better partner to my better half, an involved dad and a better servant.  Yes, some days are harder than others, but my character is being refined to better reflect Christ in me.

It was time to ditch Disney Dad and to live as a Sacrificial Dad.  I believe Christ has showed us a better way to live, a better way to serve, and a much better way to love.  I’m well aware I would not have learned these lessons while playing the Disney Dad character, and I’m sure that’s why God has made this transitional period a bit more interesting.

Yes, I still joke around, listen to loud music and wrestle with the dog, but if this done at the expense of really connecting with the family and all that transpires around the household, is not only short-sighted but merely a caricature.  Christ calls us to be fully engaged, model hard, and faithfully love day in and day out.

God, help me never forget and always apply the lessons you are so graciously teaching me throughout this transition.  Amen

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

My name is Arturo and I am loved by God and in response to that I best serve others by adding VALUE to their lives. My goal is to enrich lives, relationships, and communities.
From an artistic standpoint I’m a visual communicator and via the use of photography I seek promote beauty, concepts, and messages. Spiritually speaking I've served as a chaplain at a addiction/recovery rehabilitation center, and before that as a youth pastor, missionary, and Young Life/Club Beyond staff for many years here in the USA and abroad.
On the mental health side I currently serve as a life coach, certified addiction recovery specialist, and marriage and family counselor.

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