Why I Don’t Really Want To Be A Good Dad Anymore

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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I've come to a realization with fatherhood. Mostly, it's due to my own self-evaluation. For decades now, men across the globe have worked hard to be good dads for their kids. I have too. But is good really good enough?

The world is full of good dads. Really good dads, in fact. Everywhere I look, I see good dads. Dads who coach little league, dads who drive their kids to school, dads who attend school functions, dads who take their daughter to a “Daddy-Daugther dance,” dads who play in the backyard with their family on a Sunday afternoon, dads who take their sons fishing…Good dads!

It’s what this world needs more of. Men who put their wives and children above everything else.

I believe in this to the core of my being. I take it very seriously. In fact, when I first became a father, nearly 14 years ago, I made a promise to myself to be the best father I could be. I do all of those things I just mentioned. I don’t often self-appreciate, but I’ll go ahead and say it- I’m a good dad.

I struggle though. Mostly with that last statement. My good-dadness (if that’s a word). To be perfectly honest, it keeps me up at night quite often. Even though I do a good job with my kids, I keep having this feeling that something’s missing. As if there’s a void in my fatherhood somehow. For months I wrestled with this feeling until, recently, it hit me:  It’s easy for me to be a good dad. Not hard at all when I really think about it… attend their games, go on walks with them, watch their school play, listen to their stories about who did what in the cafeteria, play in the backyard with them, gives lots of hugs in the morning and at night before bed, etc. etc.

I’ve been told that I am a good dad because I do all of this. But is this really good enough?

How Good Is Good Enough?

I’ve started to look deeper into my life as a father. Specifically, the other stuff that battles for my attention. Let’s call it, “the margin in-between.” In between spending quality time with each one of my kids, my mind is divided. Actually, it’s preoccupied. Actually…noit’s owned, by other things of way less importance, way too often.

What I tend to do in response is use my good dad moments as compensation for all of the in-betweens, the margin, where I’m preoccupied, owned, hard to get ahold of, even when my daughter is standing next to me, asking the same question 5 times. I’m consumed with stuff of way less importance. Who said what on Twitter…who sent me an email asking for this...how many visits to the blogdeadlines for this article or that guest post…the list goes on and on. Yeah, I’m being a good dad most of the time. I do good at paying attention to my kids most of the time. I do good at being dialed in and focused on my family most of the time.

But I don’t want to be good anymore…I want to be a great!

The Difference Between Good and Great.

Greatness is found in what we choose to do with our entire life, not just some of our life. This has never been more true than with our parenting.

There’s quite a difference between being good and being great. Good is status quo. Good is acceptable around the world. You can get by with good in just about every area of life- your job, your personality, your extra-curricular activities, even your parenting. I’m just not okay with it anymore. I want more. I want to be more. I want my kids and my wife to be certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am dialed into them, hearing them, and walking with them personally every day we are blessed with. I don’t want to split time between them and the in-between moments any longer.

This change begins when I consistently work on a few key areas of my life.

  • My Time. I’ve been guilty party #1 at wasting time. Mostly, I waste work time. The problem with this is that it causes work to spill into family time. Nine times out of ten, work ends up winning. Funny how that happens, right? Here’s the question I have to answer: Am I capitalizing on the time I have while they’re at school, to get work done, so that when they’re home I can focus my attention on them?
  • My Focus. A few months ago I redesigned my daily work schedule to keep me more focused than I’ve ever been in my adult life. I cut out nearly all meetings throughout the week, except Thursdays. I divided my tasks up into hour-long chunks throughout the day. I defined each minute of my workday from 9 am until 4 pm. All to achieve focus. I decided that if I could keep a strong focus on work during the day, while my kids were at school, and my wife was at her workplace, then I would have nothing else to focus on but them when they came home.
  • My Energy. How often do we give our energy to everybody, or everything, else, besides the very human beings who live under the same roof as we do? I’ll answer based on me: a trillion! I have allowed my energy to be zapped by so many unimportant things, or people who have no concern for my family or personal agenda. Much like my time and my focus, I have to spend energy wisely, and precisely, so that I have some left for the most important people in the world.

Moving Forward

This is certainly not an overnight fix. It hasn’t been for me, and it won’t be for you either. Moving forward, I challenge anyone who’s reading this to take a hard look into your parenting. Ask yourself this: “Am I doing what it takes to just be good, get by, or maintain status quo? Or am I taking the opportunity to be great at the most important job in the world?” 

I’m finished with good. I’m over status quo parenting. I want to be great. For my wife…for my kids…for our family!

Are you a good dad, or are you great? What has been the difference between the two for you?

Catch me live on #Periscope today at 12:30pm EDT as we discuss ‘Why I Don’t Want To Be A Good Dad Anymore!’ To follow live, download the app here. Once you’re in, search ‘Mike Berry’ or @ConfessParent


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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.