It’s Father’s Day—
There are men I could bash for doing it wrong—some fathers who never see or speak to their children, aren’t there to support them emotionally or financially, and are seemingly so caught up in their own lives they barely recognize the lives of the people they chose to create. However, I will not concentrate on them.
Instead, I want to take this time to recognize the ones who do it right. There are so many men who are terrific parents and mentors to their children, and even the children of others. Some of them father with the help of a spouse, and others are going it alone. Either way it’s no easy task. In order to parent, one must sacrifice, give, and work more than they’ve ever thought possible.
I’ve seen men being amazing parents for a long time, but they rarely get credit. The most common word associated with “Dad” is “deadbeat”. Anything else gets swept under the rug. But I’ve seen it firsthand. Men everywhere making sure their sons and daughters are cared for in every sense of the phrase. Men setting the example of being a good human being. Men treating their significant others well so their children can follow suit in their own relationships. Men giving up the single life to raise a child on their own. Even though we don’t see it in the media too often, they really do exist.
Being a father is as difficult as being a mother, only with a little added tinge of difficulty. Socially constructed man code tells men they’re not nurturers. It tells them to be despondent and disconnected. It tells them to never show emotion. Increasingly though, men are defying and rewriting that code.
Men are stay-at-home parents. Men want to take paternity leave. Men want to be active in their children’s lives just like moms, and more and more they’re making that happen.
So, to all you dads out there, especially my son, I applaud you. You are helping to make the world a better place. You are helping to raise responsible, compassionate human beings who know there is no reason for lack of love because of gender. You are raising a future generation who will one day look back and say “My dad was always there for me,” and that, fellas, makes all the difference in the life of a child.
And to all the moms out there who are acting fathers for the men who won’t step up, Happy Moms Doing It All Day to you!