Cultura y conciencia

Daddy Care Days, when resetting your priorities turns your world downside up


A diario en el mundo despiertan dominicanos cotidianos como tu y sin pensar mucho en lo que laboran, hacen una diferencia en la sociedad de cuál forman parte. Pero el medio no le da espacio a esas historias de perseverancia que son patrones a seguir, sino que les da méritos a las estrellas por el hecho lucrativo. Esta nueva sección, Yo soy Esencia Dominicana, está dedicada a ser un espacio en cuál destacar la aptitud de los dominicanos sin ser Óscar de la Renta, Zoé Saldaña, Manny Pérez, Amelia Vega o David Ortiz. Y siendo fiel a nuestra misión de exaltar la dominicanidad, con este espacio Esendom, logrará resaltar el impacto positivo en la comunidad en cuál viven.

Intro by: Emmanuel Espinal

by: Rubén Valdez  

I believe I am not different than a lot of Latinos my age, where the father was not always present due to work responsibilities. I am 33 years old and growing up I can say my mother raised me. Not discrediting my father but his presence was missed since he was working long hour days. Mom was a housewife; hence she had more interaction with us.   

The older my siblings and I got the more our father played a more direct role in our lives.  He involved us in his work, and we began to spend more time with him. It was a bit shocking to us because he was much nicer when we saw him less. He tried to impose a discipline much different than what we were used to. I do appreciate that he instilled one thing in us. Being that we belong to a “minority group”, we had to work harder than everyone else. Not because we were lesser than everyone else, but we were looked down upon because who we were and where we came from. That is what we did. We studied a lot, worked hard even if we missed out on family functions. It is what we had to do in order not to stay behind. My brother and I would discuss how we would do that then in order to take life lighter when we had our children. We always wanted to be part of their lives in a more visible sense compared to how we grew up.

Things did not turn out as we hoped. We had our family business and our presence was needed there to make sure the machine was well run. It was bitter sweet since we were sovereign, but we were hardly spending time as a family outside of work. To take things a step further, I married a wonderful woman. Like me, she grew up in a household where her father was engulfed with his business. I promised her I would not put her as my wife through that or our children. Years passed and I was spending so much time at work that I would dream about it. In 2014 we had our first son, 2016 our second. 

We moved in 2015 farther from my job, and my commute doubled. That time was also interfering with time with my family. I felt 2017 was going to be different from the beginning. Other than the political spectrum and outcomes, on a personal level I was going to experience things I never have. After many years of thought my family sold our business. I’ve been home since April 7th, and it has been a blessing to spend more time with my family. I love that my kids see me more, that I help my wife around the house.  It would not make sense for her to continue to work since it turns out day cares are some of the most lucrative businesses around. Childcare rates are outrageous.  

Granted I cannot say that I empathized with my wife since she has been staying home with the boys. I had high expectations that were not being met; as a gift, she asked me to stay with the boys for one week, doing everything that she does. Since my mother held everything together, I figured, “how difficult could this be?” I was so confident that I would do more and a better job than her, even giver her a few pointers. 

I started Monday and I did not have any will to continue Tuesday. I woke up at 6:30 am because my 7-month-old was crying. I was conformed since I could get more done early.  My wife went to her parents so the boys and I were alone. I made them their breakfast, cleaned them, and I tried being efficient as the day went on. They would nap, I read to them, but I was working hard. When someone says terrible twos, they mean destructive.   To add fuel to the fire my two-year-old is a very slow eater. I was losing my appetite along with my patience. I made sure the house was clean, I literally felt like a juggler.  The longer the day became the more the boys did not cooperate. By nighttime, they were asleep an hour later than when they normally sleep. 

I gained more respect for the job my wife has been doing with them and around the house. I also realized that I also have to work harder, and try harder to raise these boys to be good men, and for me to be a good father and husband. A spin to what my father had told me when I was a teenager. I will enjoy my time with my boys and make sure that I have the best impact on them while they are still young. I do not want to miss them or anything that has to do with them. Not taking anything away from my father, but if we can correct what our predecessors have done wrong, we should work hard on doing what is right.