American culture too often depicts dads as dumb and disconnected. Mom does the work of the family. Dad…well dad…he is either primarily portrayed as the “breadwinner” (and somehow thereby can get away with forfeiting any real personal involvement in the development of his family), or other times he is simply portrayed as the buffoon.
But there is a whole separate class of dads that ought to be represented and celebrated. There is a class of dads who are competent, capable, and connected.
The family is not just a woman’s world. Raising children is not just the mom’s responsibility. This is a team effort for dad and mom. And there are men out there who are actually stepping up to the plate and doing it: “dads who do.”
The following cereal commercial is gaining ground on social medial and is to be applauded for actually depicting “dad” as someone who is involved, present, and knowledgeable in the realm of home, family, and parenthood. Watch it and see what I mean.
I wish we could see more of this type dad represented in the media. Honestly, I wish we saw more of this in real life. Maybe then it would show up even more in culture.
I am privileged enough to be married to one of those “dads who do.” These are men who know their kids’ routines, know their kids’ responsibilities, and know their kids’ hearts. Dads who know how to make their kids’ food and do. Dads who snuggle. Dads who talk with their kids about real things and ask real questions, ready to listen. Dads who take shifts getting up in the middle of the night with their babies. Dads who don’t just discipline, but play, too. Dads who don’t just play, but also discipline. Dads who do the dishes. Dads who openly value and adore their kids’ mom. Dads who speak into their kids’ lives. Dads who can handle the house and the kids on their own without everything falling apart. Dads who are fully engaged at parent-teacher conferences. Dads who not only provide financially, but “provide” emotionally and spiritually, too. Dads who can handle bedtime. Dads who change diapers. Dads who do.
Granted, it doesn’t always happen automatically. Some men have to be told about it. Some men have to be shown it. Some men have to grow into it. Some men have to downright throw off old family patterns and start this as something new in their own family. But it is an incredible thing to see one of those “dads who do” in action.
It’s not just powerful for the mom…giving her an actual teammate in parenting, freedom to have time away from home, and validation as another equal person…but it’s even more powerful for the kids. How impacting is it for kids to have a dad who knows them and is present in their real, everyday life?! Kids who see “manhood” as more than just making money or being powerful or cool or macho. Kids who see “manhood” as a guy intentionally engaged in the life of his family.
I am continually grateful to be married to my husband, one of the “dads who do.”