I (like many men) am a father, first and foremost. Sure, I have a surplus of interests that expand past this singular definition of myself. But, at my core, being a dad remains my principal focus and passion. Therefore, it irks me that some still view active fathers as an anomaly. Well, allow me then to set the record straight, “us dads are parenting the shit out of our kids”. Get used to it.
Misconceptions About Fathers
Father’s Day hurtles closer and I feel it’s time to clarify some misconceptions about fatherhood. For too long we’ve been seen as second string relief in this parental league. In fairness, mothers have traditionally (and archaically) been entrusted with the responsibility of primary caregiver. Additionally, many have done so without the aid of a counterpart. That acknowledged, we have entered into an era where dads are adamant to change this long-standing narrative. While vigorously contributing to the raising of their children and being omnipresent. We are no longer merely participants in the parental experience. We are an all-encompassing source of guidance. Rendering the phrase “wait until your father gets home” to soon be inapplicable. Because frankly, we are already fucking here.
No Need for Concern
When I’m out with my son alone, I at times feel the watchful eyes of concerned older women. Not because they feel that he may be in immediate mortal danger. But, rather them wondering “where his mother is?”. Occasionally, I’ll receive an inquisitive slighted comment such as – “are you giving Mom a break?” or, my personal favourite, “spending some time with Dad, huh?” As if to imply that I haven’t been soundly fastened to this child since he emerged from out of “cupid’s cupboard”. I never reply with agitation. But may, one day, conjure a tale of my wife’s sudden abandonment for a younger man (or woman) and “a new start”. Leaving us highly incapable boys to fend for our dear ol’ selves. That ought to modify them beyond consolation. After each occurrence, however, I then stop to think, “what must we do, as fathers, to diminish this perception?”. The answer is obvious, “keep being great dads”.
The Unapologetic Father
In my household, I’ve secured the predominant role of “go-to parent”. That is not to say that my wife isn’t an incredibly proficient and awe-inspiring mother. That she most certainly is, without question. It just so happens that the dice have rolled in my favour. Things may change in the future. Who knows? I state this solely to illustrate that “being a dad” doesn’t mean what it had 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. Those past brush strokes can’t be used to paint the current picture. I know so many amazing modern fathers whose hearts beat exclusively for their children. We have knuckled-up and are fighting the good fight. We are the new and improved “unapologetic fathers”.