Happy Father’s Day!
Dads sometimes get a bum rap as simple bread winners who occasionally are called upon to wield a hammer to hang a picture. They play ball (or, more likely, video games) with the kids, and leave the heavy lifting of child rearing and such to the moms.
But fathers are, of course, so much more.
They teach us about the wisdom of consideration, courage and honor. They know it is better to command respect than fear, to cultivate friendships rather than enemies, and to find something you love to do, and then build your career around it. Perhaps they aren’t always as “involved” in things as moms seem to be, but they so often seem to provide the rock of stability in a family that is often under-appreciated.
Dads are increasingly feeling just as stressed out as moms, according to new research. The article notes that “new fathers face a subtle bias in the workplace, which fails to recognize their stepped-up family responsibilities and presumes that they will be largely unaffected by children. Fathers also seem more unhappy than mothers with the juggling act: In dual-earner couples, 59 percent of fathers report some level of ‘work-life conflict.'”
But men — and especially dads — learn to push the stress and anxiety down, and cope with it the best they can. They may suffer silently rather than make what they would call a “big fuss” over their responsibilities. That’s not a good quality, though, because it’s something children learn from their dads — to push down feelings, rather than finding a way to express them (and hopefully, find better ways of coping with them in the process).
One of our therapists, Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, perhaps said it best in her latest article:
It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that many fathers — I hope most fathers — are simply, reliably and steadily doing the job of fathering as best they can every day. As Father’s Day rolls around again, let’s celebrate the fathers who take their place among the millions of dads who for millions of years have shown their kids how real men operate.
Over the years, I’ve asked both fathers and mothers what they think are the essential qualities of such men. They tell me that fathers who are real men:
- Love the mothers. They show their children what mature and reciprocal love, tenderness, and caring is about. They are affectionate and supportive of their wives and are their greatest fans. Neither partner would dream of cheating so both are secure in their love and their partnership.
Continue reading the additional essential qualities of fathers in her article, In Celebration of Fathers.
Here’s to you, Dad! Thank you for all that you’ve done to help raise me.