Calling All Dads
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This week we are in the midst of defining and praising Daddies! Parents are vital to emotional, physical, spiritual growth of a child. Unfortunately for Dads, society tends to believe that the role of mother is more important. A mother provides the vessel with which cells are united and ultimately grow to be a beautiful baby. The Mother then can provide all the nutrition a baby needs for the first few months of life. The Mother provides warmth and safety and love and hugs. Let’s face it, Mom’s have great P.R.. So where does that leave Daddy?
Lee says: I love being a Mom. I loved being pregnant, giving birth and breast feeding. The time I had to bond with my child when they were itty bitty was priceless. There is something very feral to parenting when you are skin to skin with your child. The feelings of a lioness or Mama Bear definitely kick up and you feel that you would do anything for a child. I remember feeling like my husband was being cheated out of the experience. I shared something with my kids that he would never be able to do.
However, with time comes clarity and the reality is that father’s do not need to have any of those things to make them an integral part of a child’s life. In our society, we have taken parenting to mean mothering. We believe that a child needs nurturing and love. We also believe somehow that a Mother has a monopoly on this ability. We believe that Fathers are always playing catch up or is really a substitute Mother, in a sense, in case of emergency. A Father is a unique energy in a child’s life and not a pseudo, poor substituted, built in redundancy system.
A Father is an example of male energy that a child needs to grow to be a balanced human being. Our society, even though it is considered to be a Man’s world, is really maternally focused. Women and children first is not just something you yell when a boat hits an iceberg. The truth is that men are the second class citizens and react to this by oppressing women. The funny part is that they put women on top in the first place! We are raised to believe that Mommy is everything and that mentality does not go away. We believe kids are better off with Mom and that a child without a Mom is damaged. Father’s are equally important and completely ignored as vital to a child’s rearing and not as a poor excuse for a mother.
Father’s raise kids differently. Dad’s can love and nurture in their own way. Papa is the one who teaches you independence and walk it off and spitting and the five second rule and duct tape and showing up to the door in sandals, socks and a shotgun when your date arrives. These very manly/Daddy things are beautiful. A Father does not need to pretend to be Mom to be a successful parent. They need to love in their own way. They need to be allowed to be Alpha and beat their chests and protect their family and create safety; not as a lion waiting to be fed but as a warrior protecting his tribe.
I for one love Dads. I think men sell themselves short and have fallen to the belief that their role is as donor and not as equal parent. Step up men and take control of the job you were given. Your babies and society need you to be Dad more than you think.
Paul says: As my children lounge around half-naked, eating whatever they can scavenge (which is candy) I couldn’t agree more. Sorry, I have to go now. The three-year old wants a grappling hook. I’m so proud.