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Friday, January 13, 2006

What does it mean to be a father?

There's more to being a dad than just being the provider of sperm, that is for sure. But what does it really mean to father a child?

I got thinking about this after reading a post on crazedparent called, "WTF with co-parenting?..." It's about the term "co-parenting" being tossed around a lot lately and what that term has to do with parenting. It said:
Am I to understand that the routine job of being mom and dad and raising your children together, otherwise know to the free world since, well, FOREVER, as PARENTING, is now referred to as "co-parenting"...[I]t's not just enough for me or my husband to be parents...we have to "co-parent." The idea of each of us having a role in this day-to-day world. But aren't we doing that already by virtue of being parents? Lame. Lame. Lame.
Anyway, all this talk of parenting and co-parenting got me thinking about single parents. I won't pretend to know the difficulties of being a single parent--Father in Chief rarely even travels for work these days, and I often can't wait for him to get home at the end of the day to hand off some responsibilities. But I do have a handful of friends who are single parents. Sometimes this works out well and sometimes, well, it doesn't. And when it doesn't, it can be sucky for the kids. That said, I was encouraged by an email I got from a single-parent friend yesterday. She wrote:
"[A]nd i think, perhaps, hopefully, i may be more accepting my single-momness. meaning, perhaps, hopefully i'm not as angry, blaming, etc [baby's dad]. and while he deserves it, i don't!!! and neither does [baby]. having such emotions and feelings like that seems so selfish, negative... really there's nothing good that can come out of it, at all.
So true. I wish I could say that it will get easier or that it will all work out. But I don't know that. All that I do know is that your child is lucky to have a dad who wants to be involved. Because there are so many kids out there who don't even have that.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:16 PM

    is a child lucky to have a father that wants to be involved that is abusive to the mother? I don't think so. I think something needs to be said about the quality of the child's parent's interactions, because if they are abusive and angry then by associative learning the child will be abusive and angry, right?