Nobody prepared me for being a dad.
I was pretty sure I wasn't going to have kids. In fact, up until a few years ago, I was sure I wasn't going to get married. Then I did, and with my wife came twins, who are now both 12.
This is a tough age to step in and find yourself responsible for two young lives. My wife and I both have different views on parenting. I'm "old school" and more theory, while she's more modern in her thinking and has twelve years of practical experience under her belt raising kids.
It's all the little things that end up blowing up into big arguments with kids, and sometimes my wife-chores, how much time to spend on the computer, getting their homework done, being on time to dinner, cleaning their room....and the list goes on and on.
Like any parent, I've experienced the "I hate you" line when we've had to come down on one of them for something. Eyes are rolled, feet stomped, doors slammed shut...I guess it's what we all did when we were younger.
Like my wife's told me a million times (and she is a saint for putting up with all my quirks, questions and moods), "You jumped into this head first with no frame of reference, so it's going to be a lot harder for you to adjust. You have to know which battles to fight, and which to let go, otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy." She's right, and I'm working on that.
I still have a lot of self doubt. I know they love me, but also realize I'm the "odd man out" at times. They've had their own ways of doing things with mom since they were born. Now I come in with my ideas, and ways of doing things, so there's bound to be disagreements. I have to learn to adapt, and I think that's sometimes harder than I realize at my age.
When we do butt heads, I don't like the person I become. I question if I'm really the person I thought I was, or is this the "real me" showing my true colors?
I'm sure every parent goes through moments of doubt. There are a million books out there that tell you how to parent, but what I'm learning is "one size doesn't fit all," and we have to write our own book about raising kids as we go.