Today I have a need to send out an Ode and ‘Thank you’ to all the amazing and present Fathers out there as well as all the incredible Step Dads who ‘step up’ to provide for a child who is not getting the support she needs from the Men in her life. Especially as a Single Mom, this is extremely important to me.
Are you Qualified for the Job?
‘Father’ is such an important job. It’s a job that’s very often filled in by unqualified individuals. Sometimes they learn along the way and shine bright, other times they don’t.
Father isn’t purely a biological right, it is an earned trust and privilege.[tweetthis]Father isn’t purely a biological right, it is an earned trust and privilege. #Fatherhood[/tweetthis]
Many rise to this challenge, and many do not.
My own Father had his issues when I was younger and he eventually grew into his responsibility when I was older. During that time, a man took his place who was younger, but way more qualified – he made all the difference to me and gave me the gift of caring. It’s unknown to me what makes a man a Father in his own eyes , but I do know it’s something you feel as a child. It’s safety, protection and love.
My own daughter is struggling with a currently unqualified man, and it breaks my heart. Whether he takes the time to learn and find his way is entirely his choice, but it’s not looking good right now. In the meantime, she has put her trust and love into a man who is very qualified, and who also happens to be in my life as my partner.
When I ask her what makes a man her FATHER, she is very clear that it has nothing to do with the title, or the birth right, it has everything to do with his day to day actions. She is of the age now that she has surpassed her birth father in wisdom and self awareness. She’s able to see his lack of commitment to creating a safe place for relationship between them, and his full commitment to his own ego. Being a Father is not a glamorous job, and in fact when you’re doing it right it is quite humbling.
When a child says ” He’s more my Father than my own Father” it’s sad, but also a testament to the great Men still out there. So, be proud if you are one of those men. The world needs you.
If you are a Father who is struggling, or doesn’t see your child very often – be sure you LISTEN to them. You will not earn their trust by dictating to them and by offering up occasional time. To be a Father you must be willing to put your needs aside for the need of your child. But before you can even do that, you must be able to ascertain the needs of your child. For that, you must let go of your own selfish desires, your own understanding of the world and your own idea of how things SHOULD be. Your child will tell you everything you need to know to connect to them, are you listening?
To all the Fathers out there, you may not be qualified just yet, but that doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is your willingness to put in the time, compassion, respect and love that grows a man into a Father. Show a desire to BE qualified and you’ll get there no matter what.