What Makes a Good Dad? The Road to Fatherhood!

Last updated on March 30th, 2021 at 01:57 am

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The dad is the unsung hero of parenting, and it’s easy to see why. They don’t grow babies inside of them for 40 weeks. They don’t breastfeed or have the same degree of parental instinct as mothers do. In many parenting situations I’ve seen, the role of the dad is ambiguous. Secondary to the mother. Perhaps a pale shadow of motherhood, expected to do her same function, but perhaps with a slightly masculine twist to it.

What is a dad’s role? What Can We Learn from the Dads Who Came Before Us?

The sonogram of Casey and Sarah's unborn child, turned into a meme by Justin Baisden.
Our sonogram meme’d by Justin Baisden.

Our memories are shorter now than they’ve ever been (thanks, technology!)—there’s a lot about my Dad I remember from my later years, but much of my childhood is a blur. And in a family with both parents working to make ends meet, what I do remember is lots of time in my Grandma’s basement, watching TV or horsing around with my brother until my parents come home to resume the parental segment of their lives, tired or not.

I have a wealth of social cues on what it means to be a Dad—so then, why do I feel woefully unqualified to carry it out?