“Childcare isn’t a 50-50 split. It’s a relationship that requires 100% from both of you because your child needs 100% of you. Your kid doesn’t need half a dad and half a mom. He or she needs two parents who are fully devoted to raising him the best they possibly can.”—Rebecca Lindenbach.
If you’ve read the first post in this series, you will be familiar with that quote up there. If you haven’t, read it here. You don’t want to miss out on any post in the series.
What does it mean to be a present dad? Why is it even a topic to be discussed? Are there absent fathers? Let’s answer these questions. The quote up there shows that there is something like being a present father, there are absent fathers and we need to address this issue. Again, I come in peace, but we need to make changes.
Going through Instagram stories, a particular post caught my attention and I went to read the full post on the author’s page. I’ll highlight some few thing he wrote from the main post.
“…it’s sad to see that society has given silly excuses for men not to be involved or responsible and instead focus on training women on how to cope with irresponsible men like there’s no other way. And when they see a man who is loving and involved, he is perceived as a weakling… If it took two to bring a child into the world, why is one automatically excused for being absent and not involved? I believe men should be very involved in their homes and children’s lives… there’s nothing ‘macho’ about being absent and the earlier society realise this, the better.” This was written by Damilola Praiseworthy.
This alone is a message on its own, and as much as I can choose to end this post here, let me take it a bit further by making it practical; let me show you few ways you can be more involved in the life of that your beautiful bundle of joy.
- Be involved from conception. Attend ante-natal classes with your wife, go for baby shopping together, and if the hospital allows, be in the labour room with her.
- When your child comes running to you for something, don’t redirect them to their mother. Leave whatever you’re doing and attend to them.
- When they come to talk to you, put your phone aside and give them the attention they need and deserve.
- Make out time to bond with your kids. Take them out alone without your wife and let it be a father-child date.
- Take every moment you have with your child as a gift. Soak in all the memories you can. That’s what you’ll hold on to when they grow old and move out, and that’s what they’ll remember you for.
- Let your guard down around your kids and let them be free with you.
- Be available to enforce and instill discipline.
Gone were the days where the need to bring home the bacon was used as an excuse to be an absentee father. You need to be intentional to be present in the life if your child, and quit seeing it as a shoe your wife has to wear alone. You’re a pair, and your child needs all of you and your wife, not half of the both of you. Don’t be absent. Don’t be distant. Don’t be passive.
I’ll really want you to go and read up more on how to be a present father. You can start here.