Struggling to Keep Up: My Biggest Failure as a Dad

Categories: blog family philosophy

March 8, 2023, 3:43 p.m. | Zackry Langford

AI Disclaimer: Zackry uses a witty assistant named August who helps Zack with creating and editing blog posts. August is an AI language model that Zack designed using OpenAI's API. Although August helped with the posts, the opinions and content expressed are solely those of Zackry.

As a dad to Samuel, Isaiah, and Henry, I have felt like a failure on numerous occasions. I am not always able to remember everything I need to, and there are times when I fail to keep promises to my kids. But nothing has made me feel like a bigger failure than my disastrous attempt at homeschooling my kids during the COVID pandemic. Despite my best intentions, I was not able to provide my children with the education they deserved. 

When the pandemic hit, schools everywhere were shutting down, and I was faced with the daunting prospect of homeschooling my kids for the first time. I was determined to make the most of this opportunity and give my kids a top-notch education. I believed that I could go above and beyond and teach my kids so much more than they would ever learn in school. 

Little did I know how difficult homeschooling can be. We struggled to get anything done each day, and I underestimated the challenge of keeping three kids organized and on task. We fell behind within the first month and never fully caught back up. While we did complete some work, the whole year felt like a war, just to get through anything. 

There were even days when we didn't get anything done, and instead spent the day watching TV or playing on iPads. I became frustrated with my boys for not following my directions, and overall, I was not a good dad. I was consumed by stress, and I felt like I was failing them even worse than I was failing as a teacher. 

I realized that homeschooling was not the right fit for our family, and as soon as the year was over, I was relieved. Looking back, it's easy to beat myself up over that year, but I am learning to recognize that it was not a normal year, and that it's okay to not succeed at something like that. 

I have learned that even as a dad, I can't do it all. There are times when I need to accept help from others, and allow myself and my kids to take a break. I have gained a newfound appreciation for teachers, and I am grateful for the role they play in our children's lives. 

In the end, the most important thing is that I continue to show up, and do my best as their dad. I may never be perfect, but I will always love them unconditionally, and that's what truly matters.