Father’s Day is this weekend and it is a lovely time to reflect on those men who guided us, shaped us and loved us to the core. It is also a special time to celebrate the dads of our own kids. Plus in many cases a time to honour how different the role of the modern day dad is to previous generations.
The role of ‘dad’ and the expectation of fathers has changed so so much. This is highlighted for me in conversations with my friends who are now fathers and who talk about how different they are with their kids than their fathers were with them. More is expected of dads and in the case of my friends, 100% of them have welcomed this.
It is much more than fathers changing nappies, dads do and are expected to do, all the things moms have done for years. Things have graduated to a state whereby dads don’t think twice about packing lunches, reading stories, baking, bathing and having all the pep talks under the sun.
On top of this is something incredibly important, now there is much more freedom for men to be the kind of dads that they want to be. They can be involved and wipe baby butts and it isn’t frowned upon as not being a manly role. They can be covered in glitter and nail polish if that is the wishes of their kids. In my experience there are as many exhausted fathers covered in splashes of yoghurt dealing with tantrums in the zoo, parks and playgrounds of Ireland as there are moms! It is wonderful.
Joan’s father, my hubby, is one of those men. He was keen to have children before I was to be honest and he has been the most remarkable, loving, patient person in Joan’s life since the moment she arrived. He might have panicked a bit changing that first (extremely tiny) nappy in the Rotunda but he dealt with thousands of them afterwards like a pro. He has been her strength, her joy and her biggest fan throughout her life. She adores him and she is his world.
Throughout the years of watching my husband grow as a father I often talk about my own dad. What he was like in raising us and there are definite similarities, all good ones!
And even before we became parents I would tell my friends about what dad was like and they would always exclaim: “Wow, but he was the exception.”
As he had changed our nappies (diapers in Canada), he had made many of our dinners, he did our homework with us and put us to bed. Even when the time came, he was the one who talked to me about when I got my period.
He was involved with everything and I know he took great pride in this, because my sister and I were his world. It is hard for me to express what an incredible father he was.
But one story to give insight was my father had organised a grade 8 graduation party for myself, my twin and 8 of our best friends (boys and girls) who been in the same class together since we were 4 years old.
He cleared out the top part of our garage and turned it into a mini restaurant with tables, lovely settings and menus.
He and my mom served us all our three course meal like waiters. He put so much thought and effort into it and it made for one of the most special nights of my childhood and our friends remembered it, and him, fondly for years to come.
So Happy Father’s Day to all those remarkable men who are raising their kids with kindness, humour, patience and so much love.