Today is Father’s Day 2018. This is my 12th year as a father and, given my recent fight to keep my son in my life, I have grown to appreciate what that means.
For three years, I was physically apart from my son. In those three years, I fought to stay in his life. I made sure I:
I kept the lines of communication open.
I was there when he needed me.
Most of all, I never let him forget that I love him so much.
It saddens my heart when I see children without the presence of their father in their life. You can see they long for that relationship with him. The fathers don’t know what they are missing out on.
A Strained Relationship
Recent I saw this in two children who I am very fond of and love dearly. Their relationship with their father is strained. They only hear from him a few times a year. This is not being a father. Let me point out here that being a father is not all about money either. It’s about:
Being there to advise your children.
Helping them with their homework.
Helping them with life choices.
Helping them learn skills to survive in life.
Yes, the mother can provide some of this but a good and involved father will help add more to the growth of the child.
As They Get Older
As children get older, they begin to see the father’s disappoint is a part of their life. A child’s love is strong and can stand many disappointments. But, there comes a time when that love begins to fade. As they get older, they start to see that the disappointments are real and lasting. They drift away from the man who brought them into this world, the man who can provide so much in their lives.
A Father Is Vital
For a son, a father is a vital part of him becoming a man. I made a ton of mistakes in my life. Still, I am in my son’s life to guide him and help him. I’m here to help prevent him from making those same mistakes. I am here to teach him how to treat women. I will teach him the things that a man can teach his son. I’m sorry, ladies, but you can’t do it all. You’re great at what mothers do but a son needs his father.
For a daughter, a father can also teach her things about life. She will understand how she should be treated by a man. “Over the years, they [women] become vulnerable young women who find it harder to build healthy personal and professional lives as they are building their lives, relationships, aspirations, and self-representation…” (Andrea Bomo, “Why We Should All Care About Fatherless Daughter Syndrome”).
You Are Not The Mother
Many times, this loss of a relationship with the father leads to negative comments. Some of these comments are: “My mother is my father” and “My mother was both my mother and father.” I have even seen some of these on t-shirts.
Your mother is not and can never be your father. I grew up with my mother being the prominent parent in my life. But, I never have nor will I ever say she was both my mother and father. Never will I say “Happy Father’s Day” to her. I say “Happy Father’s Day” to my dad because he is my father.
Forgive And Forget
At some point, you have to forgive and forget. You have to let the past go and live for the future. If your father wasn’t there in your childhood, fix it now. Proclaiming your mother as both doesn’t resolve the issue; it only continues the pain. When you continue the pain, you don’t see the many good fathers out here.
As I was going down my list of fathers to send messages to this morning, I realized how many good fathers are out here. I realized how true the statement of “There are good fathers out there” is. It took me a while to through my list. I know many men who are great fathers, grandfathers, step fathers, God fathers, etc.
So, since this is 2018, let’s proclaim to let go of the idea that the world is filled with bad fathers. Let’s focus on the good fathers. If you see someone out there in need of a father, be one to them. If you haven’t been a good father, be one. As the mother, if the relationship is strained then fix it to level that the children can see the best in each of you. The result will be better for our children.