“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham
I think Father’s Day is very important and often lacks the excitement and power of the celebration around Mother’s Day. I know there are many reasons why, and I, especially as a mother, think moms everywhere who have sacrificed, committed, and worked hard for their children deserve it.
But, many dads deserve to be honored and celebrated too! There are many dads who go above and beyond to take care of their own children and the children of others too.
Now days there are plenty of dads who stay at home and take on what used to be the traditional role of the mother. They raise the children from diapers to play groups to getting them through the school years. The challenges are no different for a stay at home dad; in fact, there may be more to deal with when a particular man does not have the inborn motherly instinct of a woman!
I commend these men for trying, for seeing beyond the cultural norms, and for making a family decision to do what is best for all.
Then there are of course many, many dads who were not the ‘chosen’ dads. They may have become a dad, because the person they fell in love with already had kids. They may have chosen to be part of an adoption process, and they may have ‘unofficially’ adopted a kid or kids who are simply part of their life.
And yes some dads are dads because of unplanned pregnancy too. There are all kinds of reasons a dad may not be a chosen dad, but thankfully many of the unchosen take on this role and do their very best.
Some of the best dads I know are ones who are the unchosen. It was not planned; it was not always what they wanted, or how they thought their life would end up. But they embrace this opportunity to be a dad. They celebrate everything from the little accomplishments to the big ones and honor their ‘children’ like they are truly their own.
Many of these dads don’t emphasize someone is not their child or their family. Many of them go to the extent of showing and expressing their love and care just like (if not better!) then a true related dad. They are not biological fathers, but they are every bit a dad!
My hope is that this Father’s Day we will each find a ‘Dad’ to honor, not just our own. Perhaps he is a father figure to you, a father-in-law, an un-biological dad to your children, or simply just a role model of what a good dad is! Remember a good dad (biological or not) is:
• committed to others, including helping with their happiness and success
• able to love and care for those around him (even the difficult ones around him!)
• wants to and does help, teach, and guide
• sets an example of respect, kindness, hard work, and giving
• is willing and able to give and receive love.
Men may not need new BBQ, tools or sport equipment to feel celebrated and honored. But every man I know really wants to be appreciated, honored, and recognized for his help, his abilities, and his efforts. And just like us moms, a great dad is not and will never be perfect!
Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them. She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story. Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story. She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs. She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching. She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector. Contact – Website – Books
Photo Credit – Stuart Miles