An honourable title
O ne of the most positive things in how families have advanced over the past few decades is how the role of fatherhood has changed. If a father of a young child today is compared to a father 30 or 40 years ago (generally speaking), the role has gone through a massive evolution.
It was not a common practice for a man to be changing diapers, feeding babies or even going to parent-teacher meetings; these were mothers’ jobs while the fathers were the providers and absent during the day – away from the menial tasks of childrearing to carry out their main job as sole breadwinner for his family.
Today maternity leave is now paternity leave. Dads are in delivery rooms and they pick up groceries with their toddlers in shopping carts.
They are a common sight at a school to get their child’s progress report; they cook dinner and even bake cookies.
Because this modern society we live in allows men to be emotional and sensitive and express love for their children openly, fathers are more and more involved with their children.
Many will remember a time when a father seen doing such with their children would be frowned upon as being a negative, the man was hen-picked or lacking in masculinity. Thankfully that chauvinistic view has vanished.
But as different as it is being a father today, as opposed to 20 or 30 years ago, in many ways it has become more difficult emotionally.
Statistics tell us these days one in every two marriages ends in divorce. That means, for many fathers, having to live apart from their children and or adjusting in a stepfather’s role is the order of the day.
The traditional family snapshot has changed and still very often means the father (more so than the mother) living separately from his children. Many times it is not because he is any less of a parent, but rather the courts tend to lean on children living with the mother.
Many things bring upon change, but a father’s heart can break just as easily as a mother’s and that makes days like Father’s Day sad and wistful for too many good men and for many children. The one thing that hasn’t changed in decades and decades is every child needs a father’s love.
A father remains the strength of a family, the rock and the protector. It’s his role and has been for hundreds and hundreds of years to provide for and be the leader for his family.
Many fall short in the role, but most succeed and win the love and admiration of the children forever because of the efforts they put into their job of being a dad.
Many will pause for thought on Father’s Day this coming Sunday. Some will think of the father that is no longer alive and miss him. Some will make a great effort to visit and spend the day with their father and realize how fortunate they are to be able to do that.
Some will call their fathers and wish they could be close enough to visit and to hug the man who means so much. Some who have a father and stepfather in their lives will consider themselves doubly blessed and make sure to tell those special men the same.
Some will sit down alone, and wish their child would call or wish his child could live with him.
Some fathers will look at their son or daughter on this first Father’s Day and be ever so grateful to have someone to call them ‘ Daddy’. Some will look at their children and pray they can give the wisdom, protection and love to their own child the same as their fathers gave them.
Happy Father’s Day to all who have the honour of wearing the title. It’s a huge job and often times it seems like a never-ending responsibility; but the rewards come in abundance.