Fessing up to Fatherhood

Aarish Shah
5 min readJun 21, 2020
My duaghters back in Melbourne. Photo captured by me.

Bit of a backstory — a few weeks ago on LinkedIn I decided that I would try and give back a little of me every Sunday, my thoughts on leadership, mental health, failure, depression, resilience and all the things that make us so human but rarely get said.

I’m switching platform to Medium because I’ve always preferred composing on here (though haven’t for a while) and it obviously allows me to touch a few more people that may be interested.

My intention is not to preach, simply to report my reality, reflect on how it has shaped me and allow others to draw their own conclusions and lessons — such that they are.

I was originally going to write about depression today, but it came to my attention that it was Fathers’ Day here in the UK; I kinda knew that but as the days have run into each other, and my interaction with physical (and even online) stores has shrunk, it hasn’t been in my face as it would ordinarily have been.

So I thought I would share some of my journey as a father. As with much of what I write, it may not be what you might have expected…

Before I get started, I think it worth talking briefly about my relationship with my own father. It’s something that I’m still working on and has changed much especially of late.

He himself was 7 when my grandfather passed, coming from a family of 10 siblings and being at an age where he was apparently more than a bit of a handfull he was raised by relatives for a period. I think my father’s past had an impact on our own that I only came to understand as I grew and matured.

My father loved me and still does, but his ability to show his emotion for much of my life was limited. I’ve been a great son, and an awful one, we’ve both said things to each other in the heat of the moment that can’t be taken back, they lurk in our physche, rearing their heads from time to time even as we have finally found our rhythm with each other.

Like I say, it’s something we still work on, something we both want to be better at, so we don’t stop.

As for my relationship with my daughters, I’d love to say that I learned all the lessons I should have from my own relationship with my father, I’d love to say that I have been an exemplary father, the ones you see…

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Aarish Shah

Generalist | Thinker | Life Long Learner | Writer | Photographer