Dads. Menfolk who look after small humans. You guys have it rough. As a single mother I know that there is absolutely tonnes of material out there aimed at me, but rarely do I see blog posts or social media groups for Dads.
Thankfully it is becoming more common, but I also see the stigma that us Mums have created around you guys, that suggests Dads never do as much as us, they never play as big a role in the kids’ lives, they are lazy or disinterested or they wouldn’t be able to do it without us.
It would be easy for me to go along with that stigma for two reasons. The first is that my own daughter’s Dad is in fact a classic “dead beat Dad”; he hasn’t seen her since she was a baby and frankly I’m glad – he was a waste of space. The second is that the man who played a fatherly role in my daughter’s life for four years abused her – and I could for that reason boycott father figures in general. If I was small-minded. Which I am not.
I believe the exact opposite of the stigma: Dads are just as important as Mums. My Dad means the whole world to me, I don’t know where I would be without him. He taught me everything I know and held me up through rough times, and he was always a little more on–my–wavelength than my mother. My daughter still pines for a father figure, despite what happened to her at the hands of one.
I don’t mean to discredit single mothers, and I’m not saying that we aren’t enough or that our kids need a Dad. Simply that Dads are just as good as Mums (providing they are actually around and active with the kids, I’m not defending the deadbeats here!) and single Dads? They’re badass.
I have a friend who is a single Dad and he never fails to amaze me. Mums, we do more than our fair share and look good doing it, but seeing a 14 stone Dad balancing his phone on his shoulder and a pile of clean laundry under his arm whilst wearing a glittery purple tutu to attend his daughter’s bedroom tea party? That is what I call awesome.
So this is my shoutout, to all the Dads out there stepping up and doing their bit. Be you single Dads, married Dads, stepdads, granddads, whatever you are – I commend you!