Previously I posted on the secrets of mothers. I said some made me very sad. This post is about on theme in the secrets moms revealed. It all related to the role fathers play in their children’s lives.
Read all about it
I’ve posted some of the secrets and added emphasis:
- I look forward to when my husband goes on deployments and work ups because I have one less person to take care of. It’s like he is my 3rd child and I am starting to resent him for it.
- I can’t leave my husband alone with our baby. Oh he loves her dearly, its not that. Its the fact that everytime I leave her alone with him she screams bloody murder until I come back. Either he pays no attention to her (doesn’t talk to her, play with her) or he isn’t paying ATTENTION. Case in point, last night he was giving her a bath and instead of splashing around and playing with her, he was on his phone playing games, not paying attention. Then, as he was drying her off he decides its a good idea to put the space heater right next to her to help dry her off (???). Next thing I hear is screaming because she has burnt her fingers touching the too close heater, because he was NOT PAYING ATTENTION! I’m seriously considering that he may have ADD. Meanwhile, I cannot leave our baby alone with her father.
- I really hate that my husband has he own life and just gos and can do what he wants and i have to always stay home with the kids or take them with me.
- sometimes i pretend i don’t feel well so my husband will take more responsibilities with our baby
- I love my husband. But if I’d known the kind of father he would be, I wouldn’t have married him.
- I can’t stand my husband. He’s fat, lazy, immature, and wants me to go on psych meds cause he says I’m nuts if I think something is wrong. It makes me withdraw and then I am not a very good mother to our son.
- I feel like my life is invested in my family and my husband’s is invested in himself
- Sometimes I feel like my kids hate me and love my husband because he always lets them do things that I don’t allow when I am gone.
- Some days I can’t stand my husband and resent him for still being able to do whatever he wants without stopping to think about what the baby needs…he knows I will be taking care of things…Argh!!!
- Okay, so it’s Friday night and my husband is out having fun with our friends(again) while I sit home alone in my pajamas. I feel so left out. Everyone is out having fun while I sit here and look up baby stuff on the computer and watching The Food Network because there is nothing on T.V.
- I routinely hack into my husband’s computer to see what porn sites he’s been surfing.
- If I had known what kind of father my husband would be, we would not have a child. We will not be having a second. Between doing 95% of the parenting by myself, and getting almost no sleep or time to myself, I physically and mentally cannot endure this again.
If you are in any way giving the message to your children that your needs are more important that their or their mothers’, you may be teaching them implicitly that:
- Their emotional/physical/psychological needs are wrong;
- Their mothers’ emotional/physical/psychological needs are wrong;
- Women’s needs are to be ignored if it in any way impedes on men’s needs;
- Men don’t care about the needs of females; or
- I’m not worthy of attention from my father.
Your daughters are hurt by your selfishness
If you are a selfish father, this is the legacy you are leaving for your daughter/s:
- Teenage girls try to find the love and approval they never received from their dads from other men.
- Because of the male-female relationships that you have modelled at home, they are vulnerable to being treated with disrespect by these guys.
- They are willing to be disrespected to feel loved.
- They get into sexual relationships at a very young age to gain approval.
Boys to men?
Your son/s have not learnt the lesson of healthy manhood from you. You are thus perpetuating an unhealthy relationship pattern. What is healthy manhood? There are many ways to define this. One that I found interesting is explained by Richard Rohr’s in his book Adam’s Return about male initiation. According to him, boys become men by learning these five messages:
1. Life is hard.
2. You are not that important.
3. Your life is not about you.
4. You are not in control.
5. You are going to die.
I like this because it fits in nicely with the comments by moms. I can see that those fathers had not yet assimilated these messages. They think:
- Their wives/moms/others should make life easy.
- They are important;
- Their life is about them first;
- They should ignore situations in which they don’t feel in control (which is parenting most of the time!)
- They ignore the legacy they are leaving after they die.
So what now? Man UP and Face UP!
If you are still reading this, I suggest the following:
Ask yourself: Am I a selfish father?
Maybe I’m too idealistic but I hope that you as a father will ask yourself, your spouse and your children the following questions:
- Score me out of 10 for my involvement in parenting our children.
- How do I make your job as a mother more difficult?
- What do you want me to do as a parent without you telling me?
- How does daddy make your heart sad?
- How does daddy make your heart angry?
- How does daddy make your heart happy?
- What is daddy NOT doing that daddy should?
It will NOT be easy to hear the truth from your family. Even if you are already trying hard not to be selfish, you will get feedback that might surprise you. But better make changes now before your avoidance leave a legacy that you want to avoid.
You have the opportunity now. Use it. You will not be sorry.