Before I tackle my main topic, I would like to address the issue of the previous post, work and such. In my quest for 'quick work', that is work that can be done without a lot of prep or being hired and such, I have come back to an old favorite of portrait photography. I've got the equipment and skills (technically). The thing that I lack is enough confidence and successful marketing. In this case it seems like I will have to muster determination and apply the saying of; If you don't succeed at first, try, try again. More on this later.
Now to the main topic. One of the early rewards of parenting are the smiles, giggles and laughter that one inevitably sees and hears in the early years of child-rearing. Children like to play and have fun. Being a major contributor to creating an environment where they can play and have fun safely is a great reward. For me when my kids were little , that was my my goal as a parent, to give them that safe happy environment. It wasn't the physical surroundings like house and neighborhood, it was the emotional surroundings. They knew Mom and Dad were okay and would love and protect them. Being a part of their play and laughter was key too, serious bonding going on here.
As they got older I was always there for them, involved in their world through elementary and middle school right up to high school. All the sports, and plays and family activities, I was there as much as I could be. Occasionally I would miss something for work but my heart was always with the family. Being there was easier for me than some as I never got far up any corporate ladder. Anyway, the older the kids got I never let myself feel afraid that they'd find out I was human and flawed. Actually, I did think of that from time to time, but I didn't let it stop me from interacting with them. I say that because I suspect that it is a temptation with a lot of men. Stay with them Dads!
When your children are older you still need to bond with them and maintain it. Be their best friend, do things together. When girls get older they won't need to find boyfriends until later, and boys will have a healthy role model as to what a man is and does. Also you will see them flourish in the things they love whether it's sports, music, theater, arts, whatever it is, you can remember that you gave them than environment to flourish in. That can be more satisfying than anything done for a corporation and can last a whole lot longer, generations longer.