Ever since I split from my ex wife and left the family home I feel like I have been drifting further and further away from my son. The everyday contact that I used to have, combined with my travels around the world to write about poker, have contributed to a very upset son and a very upset father. It seems too easy to just quit my job and head back to the valley to start working at trying to be father of the year. But this time I am not allowing my heart to make the decisions for me; this time the head is in charge. I know it is a matter of balance, I am just not sure how to get the scales to stay at an even keel and how the hell to explain any of this to an eleven-year old boy who just wants his family back.
In the past few weeks I have written about my feelings on the subject in Pick of the Week: The Absent and Distant Father and Pick of the Week: The Fatherless Son. I have been confused, scared and upset and as usual have turned to books to try and find a way out of the mess I am seemingly created for myself. To my surprise there was very little literature in the marketplace to help fathers who are absent from their children’s lives, and nothing about fathers working abroad. In the end I settled for Where Were You When I Needed You Dad? A Guide For Healing Our Father Wound by Jane Myers Drew.
So what did I think about the book?
Firstly, the book has really helped me to diagnose myself as an absent and distant father. It has been really beneficial to understand that my problem was two-fold – vital in fact. If I had just thought I was an absent father then I would have sorely missed the point and never truly learned a lesson that would improve my standing as a human being. I will write about being absent, and distant, in the coming weeks so you understand the difference.
The one thing I didn’t like about the book – but normally do – was the amount of exercises that it contained. I think a book needs the right balance of knowledgeable content and exercises and this was was a little bit wonky on the exercise side. When I am reading 52 books in 52 weeks I cannot stop to carry out each exercise step by step and so it doesn’t work for me. That being said I imagine if you take your time and go through the book – exercise by exercise – then it will be beneficial. I will complete most of the exercises on a weekly basis after I have finished the book.
So I would recommend the book to anyone who has been hurt by their father, or believe they are hurting their own children. But that being said I really hope there is better material out there, especially for parents who work away from home, as this is a common societal problem.
Do you know of any good pieces of literature that can help me gain more knowledge in how to be a work away from home father? Let me know if you do.