Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hijacked Post! Dads Matter?

For Father's Day, the Daddy Matters group invited mum bloggers to allow their husbands to "take over" our blogs and say anything they want for one post. Here's Packrat hijacking my blog and writing about what he's learnt being a dad for nearly 6 years.  


When I became a dad, I realised early on that I really was all thumbs.

My first diaper change had me almost flipping little Evan over because I pulled his legs up too high. So, I settled for being the backup parent.

I mean, mothers matter. They are the ones who seem to have it all figured out and they have the instincts that I would hardly develop over time (or training) simply because they really do not figure in my thought process as a parent.

Ondine is that parent. She ensures that the kids have balanced (and nutritious) meals while I'd take a Bill Cosby approach to eating.

And that pretty much nails the main difference between Ondine and I as parents...And why I think that mothers matter. Dads? Well, we're the accessory that comes with the mom. Fun to play with but not really why you bought the doll.

But as time has passed, I've come to realise that dads are important too. And not in the "you are half my genetic material" way, but the impact that we have on our kids through our actions (or inactions).

My sons look to me to see how men behave. They will see how I react to other people. How I work. How I play. How I speak and how I react to the world around me. They already have started picking things up and I have realised that I have to be more careful about what I do or say because they are watching and learning.

My daughter is looking at how I treat Ondine and she will see that as the way that men are expected to treat women...and I'm hoping that she will expect to be treated the same. Her own sense of self-worth will be built upon a foundation of time and attention that people pay to her, and I think that I play a part in that...for better or worse.

For a guy who's lived a life in the avoidance of responsibility, that's a scary thought. It's scary to think that I have so much power to really screw up a kid (x3) and that I'm being held up as an example. But over time, I've come to accept that maybe, just maybe, I might be doing some good too. 

So this Father's day, perhaps I'll take some time to see what kind of dad I have been...and perhaps celebrate a little.

Maybe even indulge in a little chocolate cake.

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