Married households in the US dropped from 88% in the 1960s to 69%. This is still the majority of families. There are however also signs that many men are not taking their responsibility of being a dad seriously. With single mothers coming in second with 23%.
Now I am not going to disparage the incredibly hard work that single mothers do to keep their children safe. These women are heroes in every sense of the word. I am also not going to poopoo the hard work that single fathers do to raise their kids. For the very same reason. Raising kids by yourself is a daunting task. Then if you have more than one and still keep your sanity. Bravo!
I do want to address something that I don’t feel is being addressed in today’s culture. It fits in with the whole overuse of the #MeToo Movement but it has been going on for far longer. That is that dads are just as important to raising kids as are the mothers.
This huge elephant in the room is evident in today’s television and even the television shows have gone from The Munsters to Al Bundy. The dad was comic relief. From Ray Barone to Doug Hefferman. Dads have for a while very subtly being told that they don’t matter to the family, and therefore pushed to being the babbling idiot.
While in all reality we are just as important to the family as the mom. Men bring a whole different set of skills and leadership style to the table that frankly women don’t. Not that men are superior because women bring their own special skills sets. So one sex is not better than the other.
We are more than a free check
Though I have not been divorced, I have been witness to families falling apart. I have seen how messy it gets especially when it comes to child support. Yes, I believe men should provide financial assistance for the kids. The same as if the man has custody then the woman should pay child support. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and vice versa.
If you want to see people’s true character bring them to court. All of a sudden the high school sweetheart turns in to a horrible man and the love of his life becomes a trollop of the lowest form. In the middle of all this, the kids are turned into weapons. If the man doesn’t provide the amount of money she wants then he doesn’t get the kids. Nobody wins and the kids are forced to choose between mom and her new “boyfriend” or their loser father.
When the children need money from school they are often told to go ask their dad. Yes, dads should help but dads also have to budget. Dads also have to be able to plan. It is also good to teach the kids that they need to budget their money and plan for things. Dad isn’t a piggy bank. Dad is a person who more often than not yearns and aches to see his little girl. I have seen grown men reduced to tears because they were not told of a major event until the last moment.
Yes, both sides can be petty and passive-aggressive. This is where both Ex’s seriously need to grow up and be friendly to each other for the sake of the kids. Yes, you can be friends with your ex-spouse. That applies even to when he brings his secretary to the school play, or she brings Carl from accounting.
What do dads provide?
Dads provide a lot more than just money. True our primary responsibility to the family is to leave the cave to go out kill something and drag it back. We men are providers. That is all we know how to do. Is provide. Whether it is a means of relief for the momma who is frazzled because the baby is colic. We proudly get up with the baby midnight, 2 o’clock 4 o’clock and they get dressed and head out.
Men that is something to be proud of. Those times you spend with your newborn. All because you are providing comfort to the baby. You are also providing comfort to your wife and the mother of your baby. We are providers, but what else do we provide?
An Alternate View
What is the battle of the sexes? Have you ever truly wondered? Why it is that men and women don’t easily see eye to eye? That is because men and women are wired differently. Men see the world in a completely different light than women.
It isn’t a matter of being fair. It is a matter of how we are wired. Men see a problem and try to fix it. While women see a problem and many times just want to talk about it. It drives men just as bonkers as it does the women. That is a good thing.
So men provide a different perspective. We see different details that women miss. While women provide balance to our ways of thinking.
There is something to stereotypes and dads are if anything always up for a laugh. We love to hear our kids giggle and squeal in glee. Even if mom sometimes doesn’t appreciate the hollering. Dads are known for making groan-inducing puns. We do it for the health of the family.
Yes, we annoy our wife’s for the same reasons. Men like harmony in our houses. The best way to bring harmony is to make sure everyone is relaxed. When someone is tense we get tense. So, when the baby is fussy we will make goofy faces. When the moody teenager is being, well, moody we joke with them. It is a means of bonding and helping out. We as men provide laughs.
Dads are Strong
There are several terms that can relate to being strong. We have emotional strength. Then there is physical strength. Followed by mental strength. We dads provide strength for the family. As a leader of the family, we have to be strong in many of these fields. We work hard to hold the family together. Often we are not strong in expressing our thoughts and ideas. Yet we do work to our strengths.
Dads as mentors should be on the lookout for your kid’s strengths. Help nurture those natural abilities. So spend time with your kids if you can. They will be better for it when you are present because kids do better when you provide them strength.
If you ever get a chance to talk to my kids. They can vouch for this point. Responsibility is a bull. It is better to face it head-on. No matter what it is? If you dodge your responsibility it will eventually get you. Being responsible is a skill that seems to have been lost to many in today’s society. It doesn’t mean that it can’t be learned.
Dads provide an example of why it is good to be responsible. We provide the comforts of home with the responsibilities we are given at work. And we provide the uncomfortable consequences of what happens when we don’t fulfill our responsibilities.
We provide the Volume.
Go to any middle school or high school game if there is cheering you will often hear some very enthusiastic men cheering on their team. Those are often dads and granddads cheering on their kids.
When it is needed, men can provide the volume to let everyone know that that’s our kid.
Provide a Reference
This one is important. Dads you provide a frame of reference as to how your daughter is to be treated. As Frenchy from Grease said
The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.Frenchie “Grease”
Guys take your daughters out on a date. You want to show them how special they are, and what they should expect from a guy. If you go on a date in casual clothes then your baby girl will think it is ok for her suitor to show up in casual clothes. If you want quality in her men, give her quality to start with. She won’t want to associate with guys who don’t know how to dress. She will make the guys work for her attention.
Men you also provide leadership. Some may take offense with that and that is just fine they are allowed. What many don’t understand is that the dad’s and husbands of the family are natural leaders. It is a balanced leadership mom/wife has as much if not more say in how the house is run than many anti-family factions know.
Many times the wife comes to us for guidance. She may just want a caring ear. Other times she has a nail that needs hammering. She will follow you, sir, if you treat her as your equal.
The leadership style of the father also shows kids how good leadership can be. They show that having a “leader” isn’t having a boss. Leading is taking in all information. From the 4 year old to the woman by his side. His leadership allows for the family to grow and become the best possible.
Do some men fail at leadership. Well yeah, we are human. We may feel that we are beaten and we hand over all leadership responsibilities. That is failing at our duties as much as not even showing up.
Other times we approach leadership with a scarcity mindset. Then we wonder why our world falls apart. Yet we also learn about our mistakes and become emotionally mature enough to accept them and change our leadership and mentoring style to that of an abundant mindset.
For the Wives
Up till now, I have talked about what Dads have provided. We guys wear two hats at the same time. The other hat is that of husband and partner. There may be a reason why we call the wife the better half that is because they are better looking than us. They are our other half. As in Men and women in marriage are equal. So what do men provide for their wife?
Yes, guys, we may have had a busy day. So has your partner. She has her own stresses and problems. Maybe Junior won’t stop smearing his poo on the walls. When you get home remember she is going to want to talk and be able to use big people words. So yes you may need some time to unwind but make sure you allow your honey to unwind in her own way too.
You are her personal confidante and so allow her to confide in you. Fight against the desire to fix it. I don’t know why but often women don’t want to have problems fixed they just want to have it aired out. So be the person she can confide in. Provide the emotional support she needs. Though we know just how to fix the issue. Just remember she will fix it herself. She just wants to air it out.
You also provide babysitters. Just as you like to have guy’s night out. So do women. To provide a time for your darling to go out and enjoy time with her sister at heart. Because there will be times you want to go spend time with your brothers in arms.
Men, you are inherently a provider and leader. Everything you do for your family is a form of providing. IT can be exhausting at times but we love it. So men will need time for yourself. You will need to go reset. You can’t do it all, even though you are trying. Don’t give up. The world may look like it is falling down. It’s not. The men as a whole are stronger than others like to think. You are important to your kids. Don’t lose sight of that. Your time and presence are needed for your children. If you are married. You have the time and presence to have to provide for your whole family. Do so as the strong healthy giving man you are.
If you need help in an area of providing you can always seek the help of a leadership coach.