World’s Worst Dad

I am a worrier. I know people who read this blog (and those of you who actually know me) will be shocked by the above statement. I am so good at hiding the perpetual wrinkles in my forehead, and my ragged fingernails are often mistaken for a cheap and poorly executed manicure. Those are forehead laugh lines… And I like the way my cuticles taste…


Now that the cat is out of the bag (I was worried that would happen), I can freely admit that I have no topic for this week’s blog. Basically I am too worried to come up with one. And as worried as I have been that my blog tank would run dry, it feels good to admit this to all (eight) of you.

You see I am a new parent. And apparently new parent = worried. At least for me. Let us catalog the concerns:

I am worried that my daughter sleeps too much.

I am worried that she doesn’t sleep enough.

I am worried that I can’t get her to sleep sometimes.

I am worried that she will become or already is ADD because her dad (me) f*cked up her sleep patterns.

I am worried I hold her too much.

I am worried I don’t hold her enough.

I can’t get her to eat right.

She eats too quickly.

She is going to be fat for her whole life.

She hasn’t smiled yet and that worries me.

I take her on too many errands.

I don’t have her on a good routine.

She doesn’t get enough stimulation.

Sometimes she is just fussy for hours at a time and I get frustrated. She can sense my frustration and now hates me.

Here is the kicker. I am CONVINCED that this is all my fault. Basically, I am the world’s worst dad. I have screwed up and now I have messed up this little person for life by something I have done. Because I didn’t do something the right way my daughter will never smile and grow up and become an ax murder. I read a sh*t-ton of books before she was born, but I have still done it all wrong.

I was looking for “Parenting For Complete A**wipes”, but they haven’t published that yet 

This is a personality flaw. I know this. I have always felt that when something was going wrong I was somehow to blame. Global Warming? I knew I shouldn’t have had that bottled water! As the director of my improv troupe, whenever something doesn’t go right in a show, or in a rehearsal, etc, I assume I have done something wrong. Yes, I know, I am very egotistical. I am worried that I think about myself too much. Which, obviously, I do.

Somehow this is probably my fault, too. 

When I was seven, my parents got divorced. After my dad sat my brother, sister, and me down and explained that he was moving out I locked myself in the bathroom. I figured that if I stayed in there, he wouldn’t leave. I’d just have to eat the soap when I got hungry. For some reason I thought I could control my parents by living in our powder room for the rest of my life.

In so many ways I am still that seven year old kid.

Today’s Improvmantra: Give up your illusion of control. You are not in control of anything but yourself… and even that is debatable.


About improvmantra

What is an improv mantra? An improv mantra is a phrase you repeat to yourself just before you go on stage, and continue to keep in your mind while you are in a scene. An effective mantra makes you a better improviser. Todd Erler, like all living creatures, has been doing improv every day since he was born. He has been performing improv on stage for more than 20 years. He is a teacher, writer, musicain, director, actor, and member of The Portable Reality Show.
This entry was posted in Attitude, Fear, Improv Life Lessons, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to World’s Worst Dad

  1. thedudedad says:

    If your kid is eating, pooping and sleeping semi regular you are doing fine dude. Just relax, remember you and your sig other have been waking up every three hours to deal with this little person for weeks. That’s how the CIA tortures POWs dude. So take a deep breath and relax. I know how tired you are but you really are doing fine and it will get easier. Hell if you can deal with comedians, kids are no problem. Good luck.

  2. Spike says:

    ::rumples your hair::

    It’s a good mantra. Also, your kid’s a lucky baby.

  3. Mandy says:

    I want to snuggle this baby. Soon!

  4. Pat Murray Scott says:

    Early worrying is paying dues forward for every joyful moment you will have for the rest of your life! I know you won’t miss a single one!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Do the best you can do at every moment and realize that sometimes the best you can do is totally going to suck. Breathe in, breathe out, move on! I can only imagine that you are an amazing Dad and even when you’re not, I bet you’re slightly above average 🙂

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