Lily is 4, and am I doing enough for her?

Today is Lily’s 4th birthday. Of course we all had so many things going on today — busy days at the office, Lily had a soccer game @ 5pm, Josh attended his first practice with me, I was helping to run the practice, parents showing up lost and confused, etc. So all of this going on, and today is her birthday. We had a late birthday dinner at the local Perkins, but Namita and Lily had to wait more than 30 mins for Josh and me to get from the field to the restaurant. All of this going on, and were shortchanging her?

I ask, because at times I worry that we aren’t giving each kid all of the necessary attention at all times. Josh was an only child for three years, so he received all the attention he needed or wanted. We played with him all the time, we read to him for hours, etc. He got our undivided attention.

When Lily was an infant, and to some degrees as she got older, I worry that she got our attention when we could spare it. I don’t think we read to her as much as we should. We let her watch tv earlier than 2 years old (but fairly close though.) I think I personally spent so much time early on taking Josh to places like museums, or having nice talks on how the world works. Have we done that enough for Lily? We took Josh to Jamaica and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, but we’ve never taken Lily out of the country on an extended vacation.

I worry that I spend more time telling her what not to do, instead of encouraging her growth. I think it stems from us having these hectic days that turn into hectic weeks, then hectic months. We rely more on the kids to play with each other. To entertain each other, while we try to clean up, or finally take a nap, or make dinner.

I should be reading to her more.

My wife will probably think I’m blowing things out of proportion, but I have this nagging suspicion that I’m personally shortchanging her as a father. We’ve gotten her into dance class and soccer, which I think she enjoys, so I don’t think I’m a bad father.

I think I can do better for my little girl. I should start today.

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