Father's Day: Isn't Being A Good Dad Present Enough?
A way better job than I do. The house was clean, the schedules were packed, the kids were happy and according to everyone there was very little conflict. In fact, my 11-year-old told me that "You are the source of all bad things."
Which I know isn't true. But when fun Daddy takes over for a few days things go smoothly. When I'm around he is the one who gets into more conflict with the kids and I am even-keeled, but when he is away I take over that hard-ass role to mixed results.
Which got me thinking about something Nadine Silverthorne said over at Sweet Mama: Are Modern Dads Better Moms? I don't think so, I just think the black and white roles of mom and dad are breaking down.
Even superstar athletes are talking about the softer side of parenting. At a Dove Men's Care press conference football greats Pinball Clemons and Anthony Calvillo and sportscaster James Duthie all spoke of the struggle to be a good dad. Each of them mentioned the desire to be a friend and a disciplinarian to their kids and how difficult it was to negotiate those two extremes. When Calvillo spoke of his wife's cancer and how he learned how to step up and be the parent, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. It's hard to imagine that 20 years ago a CFL hero would tear up and talk about wearing a pink tutu to play with his kids.
We moms, are lucky to be parents in this generation.But even luckier are the dads. The relationships that they are forging with their kids are stronger, more intimate and multi-faceted then they experienced as kids. I think this shift in fatherhood is one of the major social changes of the century.
And they get to do that because we women fought to have the gender roles loosened; without women's desire to give up a little bit of the mothering and allow dads into our sphere (and vice versa) we would be stuck with an apron on waiting for the dad to come home. And they would be stuck kissing their kids on the forehead and asking for a mixed drink.
Behind the best dads are women who are willing to step back and allow their partners to wear a tutu, to wipe a bum and to do it their way. So on Father's Day this year, you can buy him a gift and then remind him that he is a great dad because of you. Or just be smug in the knowledge and not say anything at all.
Do you think your partner is a great dad? What are you getting him for Father's Day?
Want more chaos? Read my account of taking my son to the emergency room for stitches and my daughter for fillings in the space of 24 hours. It called for some deep parenting.