Dove Men+Care | “There to Care”

A Spotlight on Father Figures

Last updated on January 30th, 2021 at 03:05 am

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Family’s a funny thing. We don’t choose the families we’re born into, yet in many cases, we learn to love them for the people they are and forge our bonds over time. And then you have the families we create ourselves, learning to love them in an entirely new way as we grow old with significant others and raise children to become the adults we dream they can become.

But what about everyone else? What about the people who enter our lives, making us better than we were before we met them, regardless of how closely blood relates us? It could be anyone—grandfathers, uncles, teachers or coaches—this Father’s Day, Dove Men+Care want to celebrate the other men who play pivotal roles in our lives, their deeds too often unsung. And with that in mind, let me introduce you to a man named Paul.

Paul Burns, the Man Who Changed My Life.

There to Care—A Spotlight on Father Figures by Dove Men+Care—Paul Burns

Paul’s my boss. My boss for the third time now. He stepped into my life back in 2009, doing me a solid when things could’ve gone a very different way.

Early in my life as a bureaucrat, I saw things very differently, and once took a gamble on a job in pursuit of higher wages. It worked out well for a while as I learned to do the job, but my personality clashes with management soon made themselves known—six months in, I found myself unemployed, wondering where it all went wrong.

The Story of the One and Only Time I Found Myself Without Work.

That was one of the darker periods in my life. For someone who’d worked steadily since 14, suddenly being without work shortly before 26 felt like I’d messed it all up. Like I’d messed my life plan up completely—that I couldn’t come back from something this bad.

After a couple months of “funemployment”, I was willing to take just about anything to get back on track, and almost did. A 3-month probationary junior position based on the strength of a lacklustre reference that felt more character assassination than fact. A job in an office notorious for blindly following rules no questions asked and showing nary a glimpse of personality, for fear it’d be stomped into the ground. It was by no means the job for me, but it was a job, and that’s what I needed right then.

There to Care—A Spotlight on Father Figures by Dove Men+Care—Paul Burns Snoeshowing in Huntsville

But Paul wouldn’t hear anything of it. He got me back on my feet with a senior role that made me marketable again. And over the years, I’d learn lots from working with him! How to express oneself musically as a singer for his band The Calamities for several years. How to manage a team that feels more like a family than people who simply work together. Or even how you still face the world with a smile, even when it doesn’t agree with you. I’ve worked 15 roles across eight offices this last decade, so I know a thing or two about different management styles—there’s a reason why I’ve kept working for Paul. And I hope he knows how much I appreciate him and everything he’s done for me.

“There to Care”—Dove Men+Care and Their Search for Atypical Father Figures

There to Care—A Spotlight on Father Figures by Dove Men+Care—Page Header

Now my story is by no means unique. Of the 1.5M lone-parent families we have in Canada, only 330,000 of those parents are Dads. That’s a staggering number of kids out there growing up without a traditional father figure at home! With an ever-evolving family dynamic around us, it means we need all sorts of people who are there to care, and Dove Men+Care wants to touch on that with their new Father’s Day film, “There to Care”.

They’re looking to change the paradigm. More now than ever, men see caring as a sign of strength. Men are realising we need to be on top of our game so we can take care of others. But only 7% of us feel like we can relate to male depictions in media?! Something has got to change.

“There to Care” by Dove Men+Care uses home videos from four real, modern families to show how father figures can go above and beyond to show extraordinary care for others. It’s time we think differently about the meaning of “family”—it takes a village to raise a child, so we’d better stop shutting the village out!

“There to Care”—Because We Can Care for Others Even When They’re NOT Our Children.

We’re in an age where authenticity matters more than ever. If we’re not representing modern masculinity—and all its varied facets—as authentically as possible, how can we expect to raise children capable of modern thinking in the yesteryear? While I enjoy my praise and platitudes for being a “good father” (or if you ask me, just doing my job), I think it’s high time we recognise that families don’t look like just one thing. Let’s give everyone who cares all the respect they’re due.

Have a good one, y’all, and let’s not forget all the men who’ve made a difference in our lives!

Until the next,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

Disclaimer: Dove Canada compensated for this post, but all opinions remain my own.

By Casey E. Palmer

Husband. Father. Storyteller.

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey Palmer the Canadian Dad spend his free time in pursuit of the greatest content possible.

Thousand-word blog posts? Snapshots from life? Sketches and podcasts and more—he's more than just a dad blogger; he's working to change what's expected of the parenting creators of the world.

It's about so much more than just our kids.

When Casey's not creating, he's busy parenting, adventuring, trying to be a good husband and making the most of his life!

Casey lives in Toronto, Ontario.

49 replies on “Dove Men+Care | “There to Care””

I’m not sure I did. This closest thing would be a grade 13 math teacher who encouraged me to stick with the math and science programs, telling me I could be and do anything I wanted. (not all teachers felt this way in the early 70s) I still think of him and thank him.

I had a grade 9 math teacher who helped me with my math and when it clicked in I was good all through high school.

I had a boss when I was in my early twenties that taught me a lot about how to succeed in business.

I don’t remember anyone when I was real young besides my dad stepping in. I know as I got older after high school years, I could always look up to my oldest brother who always looked out for me and made me feel comforted when I was in need the most and when we lost our mother at a young age. He kept me strong and I have always looked up to him. He’s always been an inspiration and somewhat of a father figure to me after dad was gone.

I have a teacher that was great and helped me out a lot when i needed it , he helped me get through a lot in school 🙂

My grandfather was one of the main father figures in my life. He and my grandmother raised me.

The only male figure that I looked up to and respected was my dad, he is no longer with us, but I think of him everyday!!

I had a nun in my elementary to grade 5 school that cared and made enough of an impression on me that I always send cards to her right up until her passing a few years ago.

The male who stepped in to my life and changed it is a wonderful man. Super Man got nothin on him. I married him and we are still going strong. It will be 38yrs. This year. He works hard to keep the family going. He was with me at every Dr. visit and treatment when I had cancer. I know what people mean when they say sole mate. He is my sole mate. We finish sentences, I have had dreams things were happening to me. They ended up happening to him. He is a wonderful Father.

I had a neighbour/landlord who was like a father figure to me, met his family when I was 24, they even treated my son like family, it was a blessing to meet them and to still be friends with them today

Not really! my dad was always the one there for me and looking out for me although there were a few times my uncle (his brother) was <3

No, I don’t. My Dad was amazing, and I didn’t need anyone else. Sadly he passed away almost 10 years ago from Cancer and I miss him every day.

My dad was pretty great so I didn’t really look for other male figures to influence me but I did have some awesome male teachers who left their mark.

My father and older brother when my father died. I miss both of them so very much.

I would say my grandfather, he alsway had words of wisdom and advice. And then had the fun unexpected side of him!

My Dad was the main figure in my life who cared for me although there were male teachers I liked.

Yes i had a male figure aside from your Dad who i looked up to,he was my friend,five years my senior and always taught me to see the positive things in life i married him,35 years later i still can count on him!

My dad has always been there for me and I did not need any other male guidance. I am so lucky to still have him in my life and he is very involved in the lives of my children and grandchildren. He is in his 80s but still goes to watch my granddaughters dance and my grandson play lacrosse and cheer them on.

My brother gave me a lot of good advice and has always been there for me

My dad wasn’t really in my life growing up but I had an amazing Grandfather, unfortunately he recently passed away.

My stepdad, before he was my stepdad our families were friends and spent vacations etc together, so after my dad passed him and mom got together. He is always there to lend a hand/advice.

No, I never had someone step in to take care or help me when I was young. No father ever in my life either.

My dad wasn’t really there for me and my step dad wasn’t very nice either. My step grandfather was a gem though!

Well my maternal grandfather died in another country and I never met him, I hve no brothers, I’m the oldest so no uncles as my dad was the only male in the family. My paternal grandfather lived too far one? (I also went to an elementary school where it was all sisters in Prelate SK, because the convent was there)

My two Granddads! But unfortunately for me I didn’t know them long enough.

I had an english teacher who helped me out when I was in high school. My father in law has been my rock the dad I never had.

I would have to say my father in law. He helped me figure things out, always offered me an ear. The other person would have to be uncle who helped me learn to drive. He was the only one that would do it.

My uncle was like a dad to me since my father passed away when I was a young girl.

I was very lucky to have a neighbor when I was a kid to step in as my grandpa. He was very kind and spoiled me rotten.

MY father was the father figure in my life! My grandfather would often offer is advice he was such a great men.

My grade 10 Math and Resource (Special Education) teacher Mr. Levia told me that my writing was a gift, and really encouraged me to pursue it.

My dad was an amazing father figure to me. I would never had asked for anything more than him.

My dad died when I was 6. I was blessed with a stepfather a few years later though who has been there for me always.

I have the best stepdad ever who has cared for me since I was 3 years old. And my Grandpa was amazing too, I miss him so much.

I have a former professor that was a great mentor in my career and life and we still keep in touch now. He has great advice.

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