So today is Sunday 18th June and I was woken up with a kiss from my wife accompanied by the words ‘happy fathers day baby’. This reminded me of A- how blessed I am and B- the responsibility that has been placed on my being. You see, everything I do is for them. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed they are my utmost single, most important responsibility. Dads are hugely important. They give us so much from important life lessons to inheriting endearing personality traits. Whichever it is we learn a lot so it was only right that I wrote a post to honor Fathers on this Day.
Growing up in a single parent household with seven children unfortunately meant our house was included in the 26% statistic of households in the UK that are single parent families. Whilst my ‘super mum’ done all she could to provide, unfortunately raising six boisterous boys (well excluding me and my twin) was not an easy task. Being a mother is great and a mum can do many things but even a ‘super mum’ has their limitations. Small things like taking the boys to football, watching him take the bins out, teaching me how to ride my first bike and indeed giving that infamous man talk about puberty was absent in my household along with the absent father. It was almost like my father had these things in his suitcase along with his ‘less important belongings’ when he walked out the door. Being a young child I never knew any other life so despite being bombarded with images of the nuclear two parent family it felt normal for me to only have ‘super mum’. However, I now understand just because it felt normal, doesn’t mean that it was right.
It was only in my later years I was able to understand the impact a father’s absence can have. It can create a plethora of questions about oneself, which can result in self-doubt and create insecurities. Children without fathers are more likely to be abuse substances and get involved in criminal activity. In fact, research shows that more than 85% of prisoners grew up without their fathers! It’s for that reason coupled with many others why a dad’s presence is hugely important and I vow to be an active, constant, relevant role in my children’s life in this lifetime and beyond. I hope to teach them life lessons that can be passed on to generations to come.
I am blessed to have four beautiful children, all of whom bar one has given me their handcrafted Father’s Day cards curated at school, especially for me. Each one of my kids has their own amazing wit about them. I have two girls and two boys and if I said it was easy I would be lying. Like many children, my children tow the line. They explore the boundaries and see how far they can test my patience. As a dad, it’s my job to love them unconditionally and show them consistency. It’s my job to be their friend but also be their disciplinarian (this is a difficult job). It’s also my job to guide, protect and pray for them. In addition, it’s my job to be that walking, living life, tangible example and it’s a role I don’t take lightly. I treat my wife how I would like my future son in laws to treat my daughters and how I would like my boys to treat their future wives. I want to set that bar and subconsciously set those expectations so when they grow up they will know what to expect in a relationship because they have seen both their parents live it. A fathers job isn’t just to do the physical activity, it’s also to speak to the subconscious mind and paint a picture of the life children should aspire for as they grow. Being a father is a tall order and mistakes will be made but I vow that I will be here for all my children for as long as I shall live.
It is for this reason I want to dedicate this article to all my active fathers out there. The dads who understand the importance of their being in the household and the effect them not being there will have on their children. I know so many great fathers who are slowly but surely giving that 26% statistic a battle, which is great news. If I was to write a list on all the great fathers I know, including my five brothers who are all great fathers to their children I will probably be here all day instead of enjoying the sun. So I just want to shout you out, you know who you are! Last but not least, although ‘super mum’ was great I can’t leave without giving a special mention to my step dad Brian, aka Rudy who unselfishly stepped in to take on some of the responsibility. You would never truly know the impact your love and support has had on us all and its something we will forever be grateful for.