With the InCommercial family growing along with the families of several employees, I was asked to share some advice on fatherhood – the implied bias being that with five kids, I’m clearly an expert as many reality tv shows clearly demonstrate.
I don’t want to give any advice – and before half of you scoff – I try not to ever give advice, but I do like to tell stories and make observations, which I hope is more palatable. And so, I have two observations about fatherhood that I think are universal –
First, being a father is a defining feature of my identity and the lens through which most of the world sees me, and yet, the only real criterion for success is being present. Countless barrels of ink have been spilled on the pressures on mothers to do and be everything while for fathers – showing up is enough, full stop – super dad. It may be naïve, but I think that lesson applies much more universally – showing up is way more than half the battle most of the time, if you can do it day in and day out, good days, bad days, purple daze – when we make someone or something else the priority, we succeed.
We accept the bad days because without them, there wouldn’t be good days and we keep coming back for more, unconditionally.
Secondly, everything is a phase. The good times, bad times, tantrums, food likes, dislikes, learning to ride a bike, baseball, soccer, pink, blue, mustard, ketchup, hormones, sweetness… it’s all a phase and no matter how challenging or rewarding it may be at the time, it’s like Chicago weather – just give it time and it’ll change.
So happy Father’s Day to the InCommercial dad’s and all the dad’s out there – keep calm and carry on!
– Erik Conrad, Founder & CEO