Full Time Fatherhood
Expectations of fathers change over time. There was a period of time where the only requirement of fathers was to pursue their career for the good of the family. This is the nuclear age, Leave it to Beaver, model in which the mother manages the children, the shopping, and the cleaning. The man would get up, get ready for work, and come downstairs to a prepared breakfast. Same thing in reverse for his arrival at the end of the day.
It would be wonderful to say that we’re in a better place now, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. In many homes, the father isn’t present at all. Divorce, absenteeism, or even the origin story of the child result in dads being out of the picture. Maybe they pay child support, and maybe they don’t, but they’re not physically present to contribute to the life of the family. As much as we discount the importance of fatherhood, we’ll never beat the rap of statistics that show us that our families and children are worse off because of it.
Parenting isn’t just for nights and weekends. It’s not for the little times you can carve out during the week. It’s an all-time job. If you aren’t actively teaching your children, your actions are doing the job for you. They’re always watching and observing. From time to time, they’ll share an insight that will confound you, but it will demonstrate that they are more attuned to the daily life in your home than you realize.
Parenting, and even the daily care for a child, isn’t a grand mystery and it isn’t hard to figure out. It takes a lot of effort, and belief in yourself, but it’s totally possible. So yes, you can lead arts and crafts and do a great job. You can go out shopping for kids clothes and come home with some reasonable options. You can do anything that you apply yourself to.