Good morning readers. Matt here and get ready because this post may ruffle a few feathers. I do believe I will receive more high fives however because I am seeing a big change starting in the way men parent these days. The word ‘Father’ is defined as a male parent while the word ‘Daddy’ and ‘Dad’ are defined as a Father. I look at Fatherhood to be way bigger than just a male parent. Men can produce children, that does not mean you are going be a Father, Dad or Daddy. It takes work, interaction, love, patience and the willingness to learn, grow and give. I am going to try to define what I think being a Father, Dad and Daddy is. There is a difference in the three titles. At least in my head.
First, lets take on Father. My definition of Father is a disciplinarian, the part of Fatherhood that does not give in, that stands his ground when teaching right from wrong and maybe even a little harsh tough love. I find myself hovering around being a Father most. I get up, go to work nine to ten hours, come home and only have four hours to deal with the kids. It is easy to come home tell them to behave, quiet down, do not touch that, stop poking your sister, do not ride the cat, leave your diaper on, etcetera. I am tired and cranky. I always holler “good thing you have a Mom!” Jessica is there to pull me out of Father mode all the time. Thank goodness or our kids would not like me all that much.
My definition for Dad is the one who gives advice, spends quality time with them, shows them how important they are, teaches them how to truly love and most importantly how loved they are. I myself love being a Dad molding them into the young men and woman we want them to be. Our kids are fairly young four, six, six and ten. Passing on my “great advice” is not really happening yet with our younger kids Abbie however, our ten-year old gets plenty! Both her and her siblings fair share! We only have eight more years, we hope, before she goes off to college and starts her own life. Being that she was not in our home consecutively the past four years I feel I have to squeeze all my wisdom in during the time we do have her. I cherish the one on one time I get with all of them be it playing in the backyard, going shopping or just tucking them into bed and giving them kisses. Not a day passes without me telling them tell how much I love them while giving plenty of hugs and kisses.
A Daddy is play time, free time, happy-go-lucky, the fun guy, letting them get away with much more that you would normally. Being a Daddy and a Dad crosses over quite a bit. It is a time to show how truly loved they are. One thing I do with our Core Four is going to the park. Just us. It gives Jessica a break and gives me that one on one time all kids need with their parents. Good quality time and interaction with the ol man. I play like they are my peers, not just sit there on the park bench. I act goofy, swing on the monkey bars, push them on the swings, go down the slides with them, even ride those spring-loaded creatures that I look like an idiot on. Also, I take a lot of pictures everywhere I go to let them know it is all about them and to capture small moments in their lives.
For you that are just beginning, my advice is you need to find balance between being a Father, Dad and Daddy. Some of us may be real good at being a Father and need to work on being the others. Some of you may be awesome at being a Dad or a Daddy just need to work on being a Father. I know personally I am still trying to find balance all the time and I have been doing this for ten years! I wonder if I will ever get it down? There are times I get stuck in one and forget to be the other.
My last thought and the most important one is if you are a male parent or going to be one soon step up! Be involved! Your kids need you to be in their lives. It is not an easy job but one that can be so rewarding for you and for your kids. Be sure to always show love in everything you do with your children. Nothing disgust me more than a man who creates a baby only to ignore them or worse just walk out completely. I have seen it first hand with Molly and Mason when their biological Father abandoned them and I try daily to make up for the little bit of time they did not have me in their lives. Now I am all they know.
PS Jessica laughed at this post. She said it was so insightful yet much more detailed than how Moms think. She said and I quote “there is no Mother, Mom or Mommy I am just Mom and it all mixes in together. Maybe with a side order of their friend. But always Mom!” Imagine that, for once a man is more complex than a woman! I think it is because they had nine months together that we do not get. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
Written by Matthew aka Abbie, Wade, Molly and Mason’s Daddy
April 23, 2014 Wednesday at 8:43 am