So, I was going to write a piece for Father’s Day but then I thought – wait – this thing is bigger than Father’s Day!
As in … a lot bigger.
Single families have grown significantly over the years. Divorce and separation stats are higher than they’ve ever been. With more moms going back to work and dads staying home to care for the kids, what do you label as a “norm?” Dads are becoming more involved and their fatherhood roles are more noticeable than ever!
Equality in Parenthood
A lot of single parents are fathers (ok, probably not quite half of the single parent population out there, but certainly a lot). And a lot of divorced and separated dads have custody – be it joint or sole.
Fathers’ rights are a real issue and things like paternity leave and fatherhood are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Parenting does not equal mothering. Women do not, and should not have the monopoly here. Otherwise, how can we preach and teach equality?
How many men are signed up to this site? If you’re a dad please say ‘Hey’ in the comments below – I’d love to hear!
How Many Parenting Sites for Dads Can You Name?
All of these sites describe themselves as parenting sites. But if I were a father, would I go there? Would you?
In Ireland where I live, the parenting sites and resources are almost exclusively targeted towards mothers. This is either obvious – “Mummypages.ie”, “Herfamily.ie”, or “eumom.ie” – or subtle – in that when you click through it’s quite an ordeal to get to a mention of men’s health, mental health or fatherhood. All of these sites describe themselves as parenting sites. But if I were a father, would I go there? Would you?
In truth, this is one of the reasons I enjoy writing for this site. The Voice of Parenthood is a great tagline. And I want to engage with parents, not just mothers. Ideally yes, parenting a two person job. Not because gender, but because it’s such a hard job, with so much responsibility and crazy! But one healthy parent is enough. It really is. The results are in, science agrees.
And if you are that parent, and you are a father, you’ll have just celebrated Father’s Day! I hope you had a good one!
The thing is, every day is Father’s Day if you are one – and of course if you have one.
Our fathers, their presence and their absence, impact us hugely. Our fathers influence how we see ourselves and how we relate to each other.
What Was Your Own Father Like?
It’s such a big, emotionally laden, and a possibly judgmental question. Yet it’s a question worth asking. Give it a few moments. In there we will all likely find answers about our own behaviors, our choices of friend, of partner, regardless of our gender or sexuality.
Was (is) your father present? Emotionally open? Caring? Warm? Cold? Absent? Honest? Cruel? How did he treat your mother, his friends, his boss, his employees – you?
What Kind of Influence Did Your Father Have on You? Emotionally? Unconsciously?
Everything our fathers did (and didn’t do) contributed (or took from) towards our development as people, friends, partners and parents. Not exclusively of course! Other things (and people) influence us too.
In many ways our world is in a state of crisis.
— Parent Bloggers (@voiceBoksScoop) June 21, 2018
#consent – change is afoot, that’s for sure! We are rightfully rethinking our value as women, how we allow ourselves to be treated, how to give voice to ourselves and our daughters. How we teach our sons to be good men.
And fathers have an (understated) opportunity to influence how we as a society turn out, what we’ll do next.
Like how we’ll treat our girls and women, what expectations we’ll have of our boys and men.
What kind of people do you want your children to be – and be with?
These are also very big questions – but certainly worth asking!
If you’re a dad, you are influencing your child/children right now, just as your dad influenced you, regardless of where he was. You’re doing that even though you didn’t decide to do that when you woke up this morning, even though you’re not doing it consciously. I think this is an amazingly good thing, and it can be hugely positive – fathers really can help shape our future!