Dads can be amazing too and yet recently I have noticed, especially on some mum’s facebook groups, a bit of a trend for what I can only describe as Dad bashing. I am blessed to have married someone who is an amazing dad and who is a true partner in this parenting journey. I also have an awesome dad myself so although I know that no one is perfect and there are certainly some truly rotten dads (and mums) out there I would just like us to remember that dads can be amazing too.
Social media groups are often designed for people (largely women in the specific example I am thinking of) to offload, share concerns with others and get advice or support from a community. They are considered a ‘safe space’ maybe for those who couldn’t perhaps vent to friends or family because that could cause issues. Sometimes this seems to create a rather negative community. I am not sure this helps that much except to create a feeling of common experience.
In one group in particular (which I won’t name as that would be me bashing!) it is slightly getting on my nerves that there is very little positive being written about dads. Actually it has made me rather uncomfortable at times. That is partly because even though I write this blog and share so much of our lives and my inner thoughts I find it inappropriate to openly bash someone on social media. It also feels wrong to me though as there aren’t enough counter posts. It is like that thing were people only write a review if a product or service was rubbish. If you have a nice dinner at a restaurant you don’t feel so inclined to tweet about it, but crappy service and I know I feel tempted! It would be nice to see more women posting about positive contributions that father’s make.
Is it really the case that so many fathers are useless? Maybe it is and that makes me feel a bit sad for all concerned. We all have days where we think our other half is being less than helpful and living with someone is hard work especially when you throw kids into the mix. I get frustrated too, but I don’t know that slagging him off on social media and having a lot of strangers tell me that he is rubbish would solve any issue… Sometimes I think that if more of us spoke about the great things that our partners did as fathers we might encourage a bit of sock pulling up and fingers getting pulled out? Maybe I am just naive…
My husband often tells me that he is sure that other dads don’t do as much as he does (don’t tell him I said so…. but he is probably right). He does an awful lot for the kids and is a hands on dad for which I am very grateful. As I write this he is playing with 3 of the littles so that I can get my work done. That is priceless to me!
For those who read my ramblings regularly you will know that we have four little kids and that they are full on. My days are extremely hectic. It is starting to get easier now the boys are at school, but it is still a mission getting everything done whilst entertaining two toddlers. Don’t get me started on how much energy is spent on preventing them from wrecking the place or damaging themselves. By the end of the day I am shattered and quite often a bit peed off when he gets home. He is of course tired too, but everyday he does their bath and puts all four to bed so that I can get on with tidying up downstairs and then hopefully do a bit of writing here. I can’t tell you what a difference that makes to me and to my sanity.
By that time of day I am done! The noise, the squabbling, the demands for my attention and even the exuberant hilarity that is caused by someone farting are enough to tip me over the edge. I am all played out by dinner time and just need a bit of quiet. That is where he comes in and fills the void and I am grateful that he can be home early enough to do that for me.
It is also great for the kids that he can and so wants to be such an active part of their lives. His main goal is to get to a position where he could work for himself and from home so that he could be with them whenever they were at home. This is hard to achieve especially living in an expensive city. To me though, the simple fact that it would be his ideal makes him ideal for us.
He works hard for all of us and we are very lucky to have a nice home etc… but more than the financial side of things he provides love and support. We are a heavy load to bear sometimes. It is stressful having four littles no matter how lovely they are. I want him to know that we appreciate him. He is not perfect and just like any parent is working it out as he goes. He drives me bonkers sometimes and if he tells me how to restack the dishwasher once more I might throttle him, but I love ‘im!
My mother will tell you that my dad was not necessarily the most practical of help to her when we were little. They come once a week to help with the kids and she still bemoans his lack of practical assistance, but he is great at playing with them and keeping them entertained. They love him dearly. Right now, as I type, he has taken our eldest out to his first real football match and I don’t know who was more excited about it!
When we were little I don’t know if my dad changed nappies, but I do know that he was there whenever I needed him. Isn’t that what matters to little kids? In the nights when I woke up in panic about some disaster that was about to hit London – you know likely stuff like Dinosaurs coming back, Jaws swimming up the Thames or a Pompeii like volcano eruption it was my daddy that I woke up (lucky him!) It was my daddy who talked me in off the ledge and stroked my hair so I could go off to sleep.
My daddy taught me to love books and to love swimming two things which have made me very happy over the years. No one can read a Famous Five book like my daddy – Lashings and Lashings of ginger beer! He was also the go to for discipline matters and found my love of the last word infinitely frustrating. He could often be heard shouting ‘I am not discussing it’ even as he was indeed discussing it at great length with me!
I won’t carry on as this is starting to sound like a eulogy and he is very much still bobbing along and currently sunning himself on holiday – I can’t wait to retire! We appreciate him probably more than he knows. I forget everything, but I haven’t and won’t forget everything he has done for me.
(Mother if you are reading this then you are clearly a legend too, but this is the ‘dad’ post 😉
I hope that there are others who agree with me that dads can be amazing too and I would love to hear your positive stories so leave me a comment.