A Mom Reflects on Fatherhood
Our guest blog this Friday is by Julia Sherwin who writes the blog “Perspective on Parenting” and is the “Morning Magazine” Co-host on WCHE 1520a.m.
In an online world filled with “mommy blogs,” it’s usually we women who feel pretty comfortable venting and sharing the many parenting challenges we face daily. Thankfully, we can share such stories via Facebook and other social media outlets, laughing at our many parenting pitfalls and uniting in our milestones of motherhood.
While we moms don’t hide our feelings on parenting too often, I remain curious about the dads among us, many of whom are staying at home to raise their young children. Do they have days when they want to spill their innermost thoughts and feelings on the love they have for their children? Could they use some comfort after trying to pacify a crying baby and his older sibling while navigating a busy grocery store? Believe me, I’ve seen these dads in action, patiently and proficiently performing their fatherhood duties.
Some dads do participate in the online world of blogging, sharing tales of fatherhood without shame or fear of it being a “girl” thing. After all, this is 2014, and we should know that labels are for boxes and not people. Yet for those who wouldn’t otherwise share their stories, I wanted to give dads a voice.
Let’s face it, men share in the delight of their children’s first steps, celebrate potty training victories and lead their children from training wheels to riding a bike independently. With another Father’s Day upon us, this is a perfect time to recognize some parenting points of view from the dads. I’m grateful for help from my husband and some dads I know, who provided their honest thoughts on their feelings about fatherhood, which I’ve compiled here.
Real Thoughts on Fatherhood:
Dads Get Jealous Too
Dads really love their job and adore their children. One told me that he even gets jealous sometimes of his boys’ normal attachment to their mom, making him appreciate their boy time more than ever.
No Matter If Kids Win or Lose, Dads Proud
It may be a hard myth to break, but many dads beam with pride when their kids try their best at sports or athletic activities. Winning isn’t everything, but seeing that extra effort is what often makes dads proud.
Technology Time Out
Another dad shared with me how while recently watching his son’s T-ball game, he witnessed another father who was fixated on his cell phone, writing texts or e-mails. The man’s son walked over to him and told him to put his phone down so his dad could watch him play. This dad friend of mine told me how the other dad was pretty embarrassed, but the incident served as a reminder of the importance of simply being “present” with his own five-year-old son. This dad makes memories with his son with activities like fishing and park visits.
Dads Really Do Understand Parenting Challenges:
My husband remains amazed by some things he’s experienced parenting our three children, and these are his top five:
1. The hours a baby is capable of screaming, precisely around the same time each day, affectionately referred to by many as “The Witching Hour”
2. How it’s nearly impossible for siblings to sit next to each other in an automobile without fighting
3. The difficulty of getting children to sit still in church
4. How three children from the same family can have such different personalities
5. Why children can “sleep in” when it’s time for school yet wake up early on the weekends
Parenting is certainly a journey that’s rewarding and challenging, with fathers taking that responsibility more seriously than ever. Many have taken their dedication to being good fathers to the next level, convening discussions and even research on fatherhood. The ninth annual National Fatherhood Conference, sponsored by the Fathers and Families Coalition, just wrapped up last week in Philadelphia. There’s also a documentary, “The Evolution of Dad,” which serves to highlight the importance of fathering.
Perspective on Parenting Columnist
Daily Local News WCHE 1520 a.m. Morning Magazine Co-host
Visit Julia on Facebook