To be a Father

Celebrating all the men out there who are our rocks. Who provide us safety and stability. Who love us and protect us. Dad's matter.

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Hi there 👋🏽

I know this is an unscheduled post (I usually don’t drop in your inbox every week) but given that this newsletter is about celebrating humans who are doing kick-ass things while raising mini humans I had to say something today - a day when we celebrate Fathers.

There are 2 men I wanted to personally celebrate - my dad & my husband (Baby T’s dad).

My dad is one of the bravest men I know. For the last 17 years he has shown immense bravery, courage and resilience fighting Parkinson’s. He got diagnosed in his late 40s - very very young. Even though we grew up in the shadows of this disease he always ensured this never became a central point of focus in the house. He truly believes in the mantra - I can’t control what life does to me, but I can control how I react to it! He has taught me how to face every battle with a smile and not let adversity get the best of me. Thank you for being my dad. You have made me a better person.

The other person I want to celebrate is my husband. I have had the opportunity to observe him as he plays his role as a father to Baby T. Baby T is is blessed to have the most loving caring father!!

I am sure you have men in your life who are doing a great job playing the role of a father. Go show some love to them today (and everyday)

If you would like to read about some rockstar dads who are truly showing up for their families you can read through the Decks and Diapers archive.

If you are in the mood for some more reading on the topic of the father-child relationship here is a little something Ramz, a Toronto based lawyer, who is also dad to 2 kids under the age of 10 shared with me

A lot of work needs to be done in reimagining and reframing the role of the father. In media, many father figures like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin are shown to be emotionally distant and unavailable, up to their own affairs while reinforcing gendered roles (at least from what I saw growing up). Homer would choke Bart more often than having  deep heart to heart with him or teaching/modelling consent or respect.

Lots of literature out there now on the importance of fathers (as humans, as with many mammals, tend to be a biparental species), so I hope the narrative is changing.

The following TEDx talk is humourous and not always on point, but the key takeaway is that there are structural issues reinforced by our laws and customs which downplay or mischaracterize the importance/role of fatherhood.

No shortage of statistics out there on consequences on families where the father is absent/unavailable (in addition the ones mentioned by the speaker in the TEDx talk):

  • 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011)

  • Only 1 out of the 8 members in this study on street gangs had a father that lived at home ( Stanley S. Taylor, “Why American Boys Join Street Gangs,” International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 5, no. 8 (December 2013): 339–49, )

  • 90% of homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes (Edward Kruk, “Father Absence, Father Deficit, Father Hunger,” Psychology Today, May 23, 2012; Normer Adams, “Why Dads Matter,” Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Kennesaw State University, June 20, 2010)

  • 80% of adolescents in psychiatric institutes stem from fatherless homes ( Jack Block, Jeanne H. Block, and Per F. Gjerde, “Parental Functioning and the Home Environment in Families of Divorce,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 27, no. 2 (1988): 207–13. )

  • Children are twice as likely to be sexually abused (especially girls) in a home devoid of the biological father (Beverly Gomes-Schwartz, Jonathan Horowitz, and Albert P. Cardarelli, Child Sexual Abuse Victims and Their Treatment (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1988).

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