Why my son needs me just as much as Mum
I’ve been a father coming on seven years now and there seems to be a growing consensus around society that parenting isn’t much of a man thing. And I’m not sure if some men are playing into that stereotype to shirk responsibility, but the way I see the world progress it seems like there isn’t much traction in the men and parenting side. I see it everywhere. I take my son to school daily. I’m the one that does the school runs in our household. You know how many other Dads I see? Not very many. Now don’t get me wrong, this could be for a number of reasons, working men, single parent families and many more. But I feel in a world that’s strongly taking steps in the world of women, we men are getting a bit left behind.
I was talking to an actual “social worker” last year that admitted to myself and another colleague that her boy only wants Mummy when he’s unwell, which is awesome that he’s getting the love and attention that he needs but in my view he only wants his Mum because he has been conditioned to think that way. I say it in terms of Alex comes to both of us when he’s sad, unwell, or unhappy. Both of us give him the love, care and attention that he needs to feel comforted.
I like to think of my Son as a balance. I ‘kind of’ understand that humans are created by both father and mother, which in essence he will grow up to have both male and female hormones inside of him. We as grown men forget that it’s okay to feel vulnerable, and sad, and helpless. I remember through my younger years I spent a lot of time trying to put a brave face on life. Wear a mask and pretend to the world that life was awesome when it was truly crumbling down all around me. Do I want that for my son? Definitely not. I want him to be able to cry when he needs to, feel safe in himself when he’s left vulnerable to certain people in his life, and know the right people to open up to. And it isn’t going to happen by magic. It’s not going to suddenly happen to him just out of the blue.
I see Alex as a reflection of my behaviour. So however I act around him is how he’s going to be as an adult. No if’s or buts about it. If he watches me with a bottle of Carlsberg watching football whilst Mum fawns around doing everything, then that’s how he’ll interpret relationships and grow up to look for them. My wife, views family life as the way it should have been when she was younger. And this is how people mostly think on the whole. The same can be said for work, education and all other aspects of life. How I am now will largely reflect on my son while he’s older. And that’s exactly the same with emotions. If I’m an angry shouty person that doesn’t deal with stress very well, he will grow up to be the same. So thinking that my Son doesn’t need me is largely untrue. Our kids are a mirror for our behaviour.
But I’m not saying get on your pedestal men, and blame women. Another horrible act on both sides of the fence, scapegoating the other gender for their own shitty failures. And come on. No-one is perfect. I mean I’m by no means super-dad. I still have the same imperfections as everyone else, don’t think that I’m any better. We need to stand up and say,
“Hey, I get damn emotional too!”
And we do, we fucking do. My Dad would always say to me,
“Emotions are for pussies and women, don’t come crying to me”
And that was dangerous. Because that ripped me apart from my centre. I was no longer a part of myself, because I thought strong emotions were unattural. But I feel and I feel HARD. So does everyone else! Just in different ways.
I was never shown how to mend fences, talk to women, burp loudly and giggle the house down after a humungous fart. I grew up without a Dad, and whilst it isn’t too much of a deal not having a Dad, single parenting was hard for Mum. She had to do two peoples jobs AND work. I’ll never decry single parenthood because there are so many amazing Mums out there it staggers belief. What I’m trying to say here is that if you’re a Dad and your vision of parenting is that it’s the Mothers duty, then it’s time to step up and be a man. It’s time to take responsibility for putting your peehole in the va-jayjay. It’s time to own up to your actions and be the man your kid always wanted. Because they will.
And if you’re an awesome Dad already then kudos to you, you are truly showing the world how it’s done.
Because my dad never. He was a bad example.
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