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Dad is Not the Assistant Mom

by Ronald A. Rowe | March 11th, 2009 | Helpful Hints

familyParenting is such a wonderful job. Sadly, many men miss out on some of the prime parenting moments because they defer the “parent stuff” to the mom while focusing almost exclusively on being the provider. Despite the way fathers have been portrayed in sit-coms and movies for decades as distant and incapable junior partners in parenting, it doesn’t have to be that way. Being a dad is the most rewarding thing that I do with my time; my day job is just the thing I do to pay for my parenting habit.

Men are conditioned to take care of the “big things”, like paying the mortgage, mowing the lawn, and repairing the car. The little stuff, like preparing lunch, playing Hotwheels, and potty training, is the mom’s domain. Generations of men have been taught that these “big things” are the things that define us, give us our value as fathers. But no old man has, on his deathbed, wished that he had spent more time in the office or that his lawn had been better kempt. At the end of life, all men seem to recognize that family should have been their priority. It is the truly wise man who recognizes this early enough in life to do something about it.

It is very important that we do things for our family. We work hard and long hours to provide food, shelter, clothes, transportation, and the niceties of life. I have found, however, that the real moments of life happen not when we are doing things for our loved ones, but when we are doing things with them.

This weekend, instead of fixing the broken shelf in the garage, take your child to the park for some daddy time. Instead of checking your investments tomorrow night, invest in your son or daughter by spending some quality time with them. Find out what they studied in school this week, what games they played at recess, with whom they spent their time. The interest you show in your child now will pay long term dividends in your relationship with your children.

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