Updated: Jun 18, 2020
TODAY IS FOR YOU Hey Daddy! Our rock... today is for you. Yes, I mean you! I love that although this day is often less celebrated (and I guess to some extent less significant in the lives of unfortunately a fair few of us), there is still a day specifically carved out to celebrate the great men that raised us. Many of us may have grown up without our fathers for one reason or another, but in this post I want to celebrate the fathers; the father figures. I want to celebrate the strong, responsible dads who are working hard for their families. I want to celebrate the step dads that step in when others stepped out. I want to celebrate the uncles that are always down to babysit and the godfathers that take their role really seriously. Father's Day now holds such a special place in my heart where it never used to, because I get to witness first hand the best daddy ever raise our son... my husband, the greatest father of all time!
YOU ARE IMPORTANT
I think there is a popular consensus (and a bit of a stigma) that fathers are providers only and mums are the natural nurturers and the hidden strength behind the family. Sometimes so much emphasis is laid on mothers that fathers can become insecure about their position and role in their family.
“Am I really important?” “Do my family really need me to be at that school assembly?”
These are the questions that circulate in your mind. But, to answer those silent voices the answer is a resounding "YES!"
You are needed and you are so important. It is well researched and documented that children with consistent father figures are more likely to have higher self-esteem and self-confidence, and they have a crucial role to play in the social and cognitive development of their kids. For me personally, I have seen the impact of Ethan having his dad in his life; already he looks up to him, follows him around the house and tries to imitate his words. This is only 12 months in, so imagine how it will be in the years to come. By watching his daddy, I want Ethan to learn the right way to conduct himself. I want him to know how to be kind, confident, intelligent and loving whilst being strong. All the attributes his dad has. Because teaching him these things means everything. It'll shape how he'll treat his future wife, how he'll interact with his class mates and how he'll treat his parents when he grows up.
But, in all honesty, it really is a team effort. He does everything and I mean everything I do for our son Ethan. He changes his nappies, he prepares his meals, he plays and sings to him, he does bath time. Honestly I well up as I write this because when I look back on how he remained so strong and composed when I was dealing with postnatal anxiety and depression in the first few months after having Ethan. He was my support system. He would give me time to rest so that I wasn't exhausted throughout the day when on maternity leave. He would wake up in the middle of the night and change or feed Ethan. Sometimes after a hard day at work, I would come home to the two of them and have this overwhelming blessed feeling, because although work may have been tough, I didn't have to worry about my baby because I know he is safe with his daddy. So I want to use this post to spread my appreciation for all the dads that are fully involved with their kids.
MY OWN FATHER I have a some really amazing memories with my dad when I was young, like decorating our house together, him teaching me how to do all those DIY jobs around the house and how to put together those flat pack beds from IKEA. I can remember calling my dad for any take-out food I desired and he would come home (probably very late), but regardless he'll have the goods. As I got older, my dad's work meant that he travelled a lot, so the bond weakened and we became more and more distant, but regardless of the past I still want to celebrate him for doing the best he could with what he knew. Sometimes our experiences and the stresses of life impact the way we raise our children, and without the easily accessible parental guides, YouTube videos and knowledge we have today, my dad was simply figuring it out along the way and, as we all do, made a few mistakes. But, being a parent, I can now see first hand how difficult it can be, and regardless, I want to say thank you. I am an academic, because of you. I am a lover of all things food, because of you. I am a singer, because of you. Thank you.
To all the fathers, I hope you feel celebrated and appreciated this Father's Day. And remember, whether it's just a simple card, a 'dad' mug or a tool box for a gift, you are loved. Please take a moment today to remember how far you've come as a person, and how much you mean to your families. Your kids won't be kids forever, so don't waste another minute being away from them, soak up the family holidays and relish the moments when your children want to give you hugs and play with you! And on this Father's Day you have our permission to milk it for all it's worth, because you deserve it!
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
Simply Deborah xo