This past Friday President Barack Obama hosted a town hall meeting with fathers from across our country to discuss the role of fatherhood.
Here is the video the White House released of the meeting and part of his speech:
Personally I have been blessed with a dad who has always been a big part of my life and I cherish his influence to this day. I commend our President for showing us the love he feels for his daughters and reminding us of a father’s responsibility. Malia and Sasha will be better women for it, women who will be able to enjoy healthy relationships with the men in their lives!
While growing up I was always closer to my dad than my mom. He has the patience of a saint and is one of the kindest people I know. So was my mom, really, but patience was not exactly one of her virtues (something I have inherited from her). She did however come up with the phrase that “it does not matter if you have children or not, what matter is the person you have them with”. Little did I know at the time that I would actually experience this first hand, yet one “step” removed.
Because my dad, and my grandpa for that matter, had such a great and positive impact on my life, it saddens me when I see children grow up without their dads. And as much as our society wants to believe that this might not be such a big deal anymore in this day and age when high divorce rates and nuclear families are the norm, I tend to differ. While there are plenty of so called “dead beat dads” around, fathers who ignore their responsibilities and want nothing to do with their children, I also realize that many fathers fight constantly to be included in their children’s lives while the mothers try to keep them out of it. Although I am behind Obama’s message that any man can father a child but it takes a special man to be a father I also believe that the same holds true for mothers. It is very easy to get pregnant but the mere act of giving birth does not necessarily make you a mother, let alone a good one!**
Mothers may carry babies around for nine months, but dads have to put up with all the insanity of hormonal imbalances and “angry pregnant women syndrome” during that time not to mention all the neurosis thereafter.**
Now, let me clarify here that I have never given birth myself, I have however been a step mom for 15 years (and knew Hubby and his kids for six years before I took on this role) and one of the many things I have learned from this experience is that in the end there really are two people who determine who a father is! Hubby’s ex wife decided that he was so inadequate as a father (by her standards! which deserve to be questioned!) she did everything in her power, successfully, to deprive him of being a father to his children. It took a decade but in the end persistence paid off for her, and really it is not about anyone else. Everything and anything has been based around her agenda and money (a “value” the kids, who are now grown ups, picked up as something worth living by as well), and the kids were used as pawn. I often look back over the past 15 years and wonder what could have been done differently, and have come to the conclusion that as long as society’s and family courts’ attitude supports mothers that blatantly take their bitterness out on their ex husbands by
abusing the influence they have on their children, and go so far as to using their kids in getting back at their ex spouses, fathers are often hard pressed to live up to their potential.
And the long term effects have every potential to be devastating!
*...although in our house you wouldn't have known it!
**first hand experience made me come to this conclusion
Today’s Running Tip: Running is a great bonding experience!
If you are lucky enough to have a dad that runs, take advantage! Go for a run with him as often as you can. Running strengthens any bond between two people, but especially fathers and sons, fathers and daughters!