Dads are now discovering that they have a choice instead of being told what to do when it comes to working or staying at home. They are discovering that they have a voice and have options.
During the quest for this knowledge, men had the realisation that their roles don’t have to be confined to traditional gender roles anymore. However, in some cases, Dads are still scrutinized for going against the norm and I say, enough is enough.
Here are some of the things that I have learnt since becoming a dad. This is the knowledge that I hope will inspire new dads to be the very best dad that they can possibly be and not to learn the hard way like I did.
You can look after your own children
You are already an awesome dad, you just might not know it yet because no one has given you the chance to show off your skills. You are an equal partner in your child’s development. All you have to be is a dad who is actively involved in the raising of their children’s life. From having pretend tea parties to kissing poorly fingers better, to letting your kids ride on your back while you pretend to be a horse. Just remember to do it ‘Dad style’.
Never let anyone say you’re babysitting. You’re the Dad!
Never let anyone ever tell you that ‘real men don’t cry’ because they do. A real man can be scared, a real man can cry if he feels like it. A real man can have anxiety and does not have a ‘snap out of it’ attitude Remember, you have a voice and your feelings matter too.
Men have emotions too. It’s normal and It’s okay. It makes you a stronger person to realise that it’s OK to be yourself and it’s fine to have feelings and emotions. You choose how you want to feel. Not society.
If you want to help in planning your kids birthday, go for it! If you want to sing along to Frozen/ Tangled in the car, rock on! If you work all day and want to come home and give your children bath, do it. You’re a DAD! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
Stereotypical gender roles don’t mean a thing
If you’re like me and a stay at home Dad, keep up the great work. There is no such thing as women’s work and men’s work anymore. It was all a myth anyway. If you want to go outside and fix a tire then come inside and make a fantastic dinner, that’s fine. Just work out want works for your family and go for it. If you work and you have a wife that stays at home, that’s great. If you have a wife who works and you stay at home, that’s great too.
Families also come in all different shapes and sizes. Remember to decide who does what chore based on who is better at that chore and how it makes your family better. Don’t base it on traditional gender stereotypes.
Your children deserve YOU. The best version of you. If that is a dad who is out at work, providing or a stay at home Dad, who is providing, either one is spot on. Whatever you decide, remember that only you and your family can make the decision on what your family is and what your role in that family will be.
Don’t let anything or anyone tell you how to do “Dad”.