Recently I wrote an article about how moms are enough — just as they are. Did you think I had forgotten about you, dads? I haven’t. Guess what? The same goes for you!
I know you sometimes want to come off like you don’t deal with insecurities attached to this gig called Fatherhood, but I know you do, and it is ok. It is pretty normal, actually. Yes, the other dads you see are thinking it too. I would suggest it shows a desire to do your job well if you are actually wondering if you are doing ok at it.
Here is the deal.
You’re doing great.
First, let’s lift a little load off your backs. While being a dad is, in part, about being responsible and taking care of your family and their needs, it is not about working your tush (wait, would guys call it tush? that seems kinda girly…sorry men…) off to make sure your kid has all the latest technology, toys, and material possessions they desire. Ok? If you are holding onto that burden, let it go. It is ok for them to not have all they desire. It actually is GOOD for them! There — you are welcome. Breathe a (manly) sigh and read on.
What kids want most from you…and NEED most….is YOU. Yep, that’s about it. For each child that will look a little different — some will want you to throw them a ball a million times, some might want to be tickled until they can’t breathe, and others might just want to sit quietly and catch a fish, or do nothing at all. No matter the child, the desire will still be the same: you, there with them.
Present. Near. Involved. Invested.
All you have to do is be with them.
See them. Hear them.
That’s really all.
They long so desperately to be known by you, loved by you, and important to you. Make sure they are. Make sure they know.
It isn’t “unmanly” to express love or to show feelings.
In fact, seeing you do so unleashes them to love deeper, feel stronger, and walk in a beautiful confidence like none other.
Your role in their lives is important, yet it is also simple.
Be you — and “be” with them.
You were specifically designed to be their father. They were created to be your child with the same intentionality. Know this and live in that truth. Do NOT fall into any lie that says you aren’t as important, as needed, or equipped to deal with your children’s rearing.
The children of this world need the men around them to stand up and be men. Be strong but tender-hearted. Responsible but fun-loving. Firm but gentle. Play with them. Be real. Be vulnerable.
Love their mothers unashamedly and well (if you are together, and if not, please respect her), and love God even more.
Show them what it looks like to live out a courageous life of being the man you were created to be and watch them flourish.
Teach them what only you can, and don’t forget to learn from them. It is not too late if you have stumbled in this job of just being you, being present with them. Kids are resilient and forgiving. Start now.
Thank you for wanting to be a good dad; having that desire makes you one of the best.
Remember, you are enough.