03 August, 2007

A Father's Love

Get a group of moms together and they gush, complain, vent, and do a lot of talking about their kids. Get a group of men together and kid talk is not heard as much. It doesn't mean that fathers love their kids any less just that they express themselves differently, and probably don't do their "expressing" with the guys!

One of the things I have found most enjoyable about the blog world is that men freely talk about and share their thoughts and feelings about their kids. Some do it through comedy, other share events, and still others share their emotions. There are stay at home dads, soon to be dads, men talking about future children, and men who just love their kids as honestly and warmly as they can.

Don't get me wrong, these guys don't gush. They are not overly sappy or sentimental. They are genuine in their feelings and express themselves wonderfully - whether it be funny, loving, emotional...it is all well done.

For me, it is wonderful to see men interact and talk bout their kids. I work with lots of guys and, guess what, they don't talk much about their kids unless they are asked directly etc.

The other day I read this. As usual from this dad, it was well written and delightful to read. I also read one of the comments that hinted at the negative statistics regarding girls who do not enjoy the love of their dad.

The comment did not surprise me as I believe that a father's love is as important to a child as the mother's love. I have also worked with stats and understand how they work. The comment did leave me wondering just what a father's love includes or means.

As a single mother with a girl, the role of "dad" is one that I consider at some level each day of the week. I grew up with a dad as did every woman in my family (and there were/are lots of them) The Diva is the first girl or child to grow up without a dad in the house or as a part of her daily life. I often wonder what the impact of that will be.

That said, she is loved by her father. He might not see her often or attend performances etc. He does not know her little personality quirks or her buttons. He does, however, love her.

A parent loves in so many ways. For some it is actions, others it is words. Some do it daily while others do it part time, and others do it from afar. Does the proximity of the parent to the child indicate the amount of love given, felt, or shared?

Redefining "daddy" was a challenge that I faced when I discovered I was pregnant. The challenge is less now but it has not been eliminated completely. "Daddy" for me, means something completely different than the "daddy" that loves the Diva and who she loves in return. Does it mean that She is loved less? Does it mean all the negatives that statistics indicate?

I would love to have answers to those questions, but I am not sure that there are any, and they are most likely situational at best.

I do all that I can to ensure that the Diva is balanced, well adjusted, happy, and very loved. The job is made that much easier because she is an amazing kid. Despite my neighbors attitude, I do not think that there is such a thing as a perfect family, an ideal parent-child relationship, or that we can have all the answers to all the questions when we want them. I do believe that the Diva is loved, confident, self assured, and hope that she is getting all that she needs to live a full life.


cathouse teri said...

The interesting difference I see about men versus women in the "kid talk" category, is that men do adore their children as much as women do, but men do not so much find their identity in them. Not that I think women SHOULD do this, but we are often much more guilty of this tendency. Men are men. They have lives. Children are part of them. Too often with women, the children ARE their lives. This is not a good thing. Children should know that their mothers are people, too. That they are not there simply to serve. But if we don't pour ourselves into our children every waking moment of the day, we feel we are not living up to the expectation.

I did very well pour myself into my children. But at some point, I knew I had to have other interests. For my sake as well as for theirs. Too many children feel the burden of being everything to their mothers. This is too much for them and they will eventually reject it. Thereby rejecting their mothers. I've seen this happen time and again and I would encourage all mothers to find the balance as early as possible.

JustRun said...

I think your approach, one that's real and yet will give anything to give your daughter a good life is so much healthier than many single mothers I've seen. There is something to be said for playing the hand you've got rather than constantly wanting something "else."

The Exception said...

Teri - I think that finding that balance is so important for both parent and child - and yet it is difficult to find it sometimes. I have seen mothers go over board on both sides of the line. The Diva and I try to keep things balanced. It is easier for me then for her sometimes as she is dependent upon me where I see us as having two separate lives and we are sharing them. We are each our own person.

Is it possible that men are the opposite? Mothers live for their kids in some respects and men live isolated from their kids? Is the goal for each to find balance?

Just Run - I don't have time to truly yearn for something else! ;) There are times when I am more aware of the life that I want to give her over the life that she has. It is just that momentary "twinge" when she can't play in the backyard (there is no back yard) or have a dog (we like big dogs that go with backyards) etc. But I give her "different" and am learning to accept that.

M@ said...

Fact: 2/3 of U.S. Internet traffic lasts quarter came from so-called Mommy Bloggers.

The Exception said...

Matt - And some of them write very well too. What truly caught my attention was the comment regarding fathers/daughters/ and statistics on the linked post.

Deadmanshonda said...

The fact that you even consider these things is a huge indication that she will indeed have a happy, full life.

cathouse teri said...

Of course, of course, men need to have a balance. Their battle is just a different one. They tend to alienate themselves from the family and find their identities in their careers.

As for you and the Diva, I have no doubt you will be fine. :)

guygm said...

Dudes have trouble expressing emotions. You either need liquor or a cigar or a poker game to get that accomplished. Preferably all three at once I guess...

Anonymous said...

"I do all that I can"...you've used a verb here, an action word. I have trouble with this subject because I think love is just as much an action as it is a feeling.

You do things to make the Diva feel loved. But dad just "loves her". There is a huge difference and kids have a hard time with non-concrete expressions.

They WANT to believe that someone loves them, but somewhere in their subconscious they recognize the persons that are actually SHOWING them love and those that just merely say it. I'm not trying to be a downer but I do believe in this and have lived it

Bre said...

I feel like the wonderful thing is that the Diva will have posts like this to look back on - they will give her some sort of understanding, a glimpse into how much you really adore her!

Scorpy said...

It sounds like she has all the love she needs at the moment. :)

Spellbound said...

Love is the only insulation against the cold world outside our doors. The Diva has that from both her Mom and Dad, so she's ahead of the game.

Steph said...

Scorpy is an amazing father, and those girls are so very lucky, as your daughter is too.

As long as she has some relationship with her father, she'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

also I was going to say, I did a research project in college about the difference it makes in a girls life when she doesn't get a fathers love and acceptance. It is directly tied to teenage pregnancy

The Exception said...

LeiselB - Thanks. Sometimes I think I think too much!

Teri - Parenting is quite the challenge. I know families where the nanny is the closest to the kids with both parents pouring themselves into their work. So many challenges we each face.

Guygm - I have a feeling that you are not such a guy!

Bre - I hope she will have such posts! She is definitely one loved kid.

Scorpy - *sigh* I do hope you are right.

Spellbound - Different kinds of love, but love all the same. Love created her and surrounds her.

Steph - I don't know Scorpy personally but, from what he writes, would tend to agree. The Diva and her dad are a relationship in the works!

Doozie - I agree with you. I think that love is an emotion but it is also a verb that requires action. Sometimes it takes so little to "do" love and yet, those actions are priceless. There is a song about this "Love is something that we do." It refers to a marriage but I think the concept applies to most any situation. It is easy to say the words and often more difficult to perform the actions.

I have not done research on this topic, but your findings do not surprise me. There are so many studies that show that a father's involvement has an impact on the life of the daughter. It seems that the findings are all negative; which saddens me as there are many girls growing up with out dads. At least the Diva knows her dad and knows that he loves her.

Don said...

There was one thing that scared me though I'm new to your blog -

"That said, she is loved by her father. He might not see her often or attend performances etc. He does not know her little personality quirks or her buttons. He does, however, love her."

My step-daughter is loved by her 'father' - actually the guy who adopted her when she was about one (all this is known to all). It wasn't a good divorce. Unfortunately he isn't capable of treating her like her own person; he treats her as a substitute for her mother. Therefore when he sees a personality quirk that he recognizes; it isn't HERS, it's her mother's - and he reacts accordingly.

You know where this is going. He's destroyed his relationshp with his child (also with their son who HE raised). I'm hoping that your ex-husband isn't so stupid. And I hope that I've been a positive male figure in their lives. (As the saying goes, we live in hope.)

Scotty said...

I think that the Diva is in very good hands.

I also feel like I am going to be a father that constantly talks about his kid(s).

The Exception said...

Don - Thanks for dropping by. He doesn't do anything like that, fortunately, as I can see that it would be an issue. He and I are still quite close and have very open communication when it comes to the Diva. We are currently talking about communication between the two of them. The Diva, on the other hand, is her own person. She is similar to her parents but not in any stand out kind of way. She has her own little quirks!

Scotty - I have no doubt. I can see you being more of the Scorpy kind of guy whose blog was linked.

Ryan said...

I understand where Don is coming from... my dad used to tell me "you are so much like your mother..." blah blah blah. My mom used to say the same thing to me except that I was like my father.

I have realized years later that the reason I had 'issues' was because genetically I was 50% my mother, and 50% my father - they hated each other.

So logically it makes sense that one half of myself is constantly hating the other half.

I'm trying to get on Oprah.

Your daughter is very fortunate to have you as a mother... in more ways than one.

The Exception said...

Ryan - You are... a hoot! I would say that your wife is a lucky lady to have you around.