Last updated on May 20th, 2021 at 01:26 am
One thing I’ve love to see from my fellow dads this Father’s Day is for all of us to learn to communicate better.
I know—it might be the last thing on your mind with everything else you’ve got going on, but it’s because we keep so quiet about our experiences that the world’s so slow to change.
By the numbers here in Canada, moms and dads aren’t all that different, with 5.5 million moms to the 4.5 million dads we have. But even without doing exhaustive research to validate this, we only have dozens of dad creators sharing their stories as opposed to the thousands of mom creators doing the same.
The difference is that while moms are great communicators, establishing communities for advice, support and safe spaces to share their stories, it’s taken us much longer to do that for ourselves. And even when we do, it’s only in private groups of our peers, so the world can’t see every side of ourselves instead of just the positive aspects we want the world to see. It’s a bit better than what we were taught—to bottle our thoughts and feelings up inside—but we still have a long way to go before we represent ourselves with any justice.
Why Fatherhood Stories Are So IMPORTANT.
I get it, though—I almost didn’t become a dad blogger myself, thinking that parenthood would make me too busy to keep up with a blog. But when some forward-thinking friends helped me see that the Canadian market sorely lacked fatherhood content, I kept writing about my experiences, and nearly eight years later, here we are.
But things won’t change based on my stories alone.
In my circle alone, I see plenty of dads doing things right, but you’d never know it unless you talked to them. They take care of their kids. They’re involved. These are men evolving past the idea that dads are only good for discipline, willing to bring their entire selves to fatherhood instead of pale shadows of their potential.
The dad is changing. It may be a slow growth to having dads who take on an equal share of raising children seen as the norm and not an exception, but I see it more with every passing year. Dads who want to make a difference. Dads who understand the impact their decisions will have on their children and the future generations to come.
There are still so many dads who stumble into this blindly, though, and feel like they don’t have the supports to be successful. Or dads who didn’t have dads themselves, but are doing the best that they can with what they have. We have countless generations of pain and brokenness to overcome before we can truly move forward, which is why as we grow as fathers, it’s important to take what we’ve learned and teach it to the dads figuring it out after us so they don’t need to sweat so much of the basic stuff and can move on to bigger problems.
What’s the Fatherhood Story That YOU Want to Share?
Now—therein lies a bigger question: what’s the fatherhood story that we’re looking to share? What’s so important about the way that we do things that’d make it worthwhile to go online and bare our souls to hundreds if not thousands of strangers at a time? Well—you never know who will find what value in your content unless you share it, and I break my story down into two pieces: the growing and ever-changing lives of my children, and how I grow in response to that as a dad.
How My Relationship with My Kids Works
The relationship I share with my kids is the product of a few things:
- The time to nurture our bonds, working from home through the pandemic and constantly together, much unlike the sacrifices my father made to give his kids a leg up by running a restaurant.
- The resources to keep our lives rich with experiences, constantly broadening their horizons to show them just how big the world is.
- And—perhaps most importantly—the presence to take their problems seriously, hopefully giving them the confidence and trust they need to be the best they can be in a world where we could all use as many supports as we can get.
My kids are blessed and I work hard to be the best dad I can be, but I know that most Dads aren’t as lucky. Whether it’s gruelling commutes and unforgiving jobs; never quite having enough to give their kids everything they wish they could; or—in the worst-case scenarios—not even getting to see their kids as much as they’d like, life’s often hard for Dads. The world thinks we’re invulnerable with steel hides protecting us from any emotional onslaught, but the struggle ain’t easy and I’m sure that just about any dad could tell you that.
But therein lies the biggest problem of all—Dads don’t talk. At least… not as much as they should.
Let’s Tell Deeper Fatherhood Stories and Change How the World Sees Us!
Ninety-nine per cent of the conversations I have with my fellow Dads focus on the same things. Sports. Work. How tired we are of the ridiculous things our kids get up to. But they rarely get deeper than that.
Now you might think that’s alright—after all, at least we’re talking to each other, right? But those 5.5 million moms know that they have to share things that truly matter with each other, and create bonds that last. They know that it takes a village to raise a child, and when villages weren’t readily available, they just created them instead.
It’s time that we stop bottling these stories up inside and get them out there. You don’t have to write like me—there are always videos. Podcasts. Mentoring other dads in your community so they can do the best jobs possible. Even if we’re in a visual era where Instagram and TikTok are king, I’m creating fatherhood content that I hope does more than just get attention today.
I want it to mean something tomorrow.
So stand loud. Stand proud. Share your fatherhood story. You can’t be part of the change by staying silent.
Thanks for reading, everyone, and we’ll see you at the next post!
Until then, I remain,
Posts in my “Forty Days to Father’s Day” Series
- Forty Days to Father’s Day: The Intro
- What IS a Father? The Definition of a Dad.
- The Importance of Sharing Fatherhood Stories
- Who Wants to be a Dad, ANYWAY?
- Getting Ready for a BABY: First Steps to Fatherhood!
- First Steps to Fatherhood: A Year Makes a Difference!
- 13 Things Dads Need to Know When Having Kids
- It’s Not Babysitting if it’s Your Kid.