On Fathers

It’s Father’s Day today, and the lead up to this day, with all the advertisements and catalogues in the mail, have had me thinking a bit about fathers.

I have extra space to think today (or less space, depending how you look at it) as my husband is away on business for the weekend.

I expected I would miss him (and I do!) but I also expected that I wouldn’t find it too challenging, since I do most of the child caring stuff anyway. But, surprise, surprise – it’s harder than I thought!

So, when I saw several posts on Facebook today saying “Happy Father’s Day to all the single mums doing double duty” or something, it made me pause.

Now, being the sole parent in the house for 4 days is quite different to being a single parent. For one thing, even though I’m the only one here, I still don’t have the burden of financially providing for our family. And we’ve also enjoyed sending my husband pictures and updates of our days while he’s been away, so while we are physically separated, we are very much still together.

But what has made this weekend so hard is not that I have had to “step up” and somehow fulfil the role of both mother and father. But it is that we feel the lack of the father in the house. That is, it’s hard precisely because I, a woman, cannot fulfil the role of father.

I can discipline the kids, but my words don’t seem to carry the same weight as my husband’s. The kids’ activities have not changed much, but they seem more listless. My daughter keeps asking me, “Mummy, are you sad because Daddy’s not here? Here, I will give you a cuddle.”
Instead of looking forward to that special time alone together at the end of the day, I seem to be literally just collapsing into bed about an hour after I get all the kids to sleep.

How arrogant of me to think that this wouldn’t be too hard!

In our culture, feminism tells us that men and women are interchangeable – that they can and should do exactly the same things. That there is no “mothering” and “fathering”, just “parenting”.

You guys, that is a lie! It’s not how God designed humans. He didn’t make us all the same, he made us “male and female”, to His glory. He made mothers and fathers, not just parents.

The Father’s Day posters at my local shopping centre have really been grating on me over the last month or so – they say “Don’t Forget Dad”. Plastered all over the place.“Don’t Forget Dad.”

It’s very apt for our culture. And I think this is why is grates on me.

Why are we likely to forget Dad? Why do Dad’s go so unnoticed and unappreciated?

Let’s make sure this is not the case in our households. Let’s make sure our dads and our children’s dads know how much they are needed, and how uniquely valuable to the family they are.

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