There are many ways to say Dad. Father, Dad, Daddy, Pa, Papa, Baba, Bapa etc. In our house, there’s also Dadio, Oompapa and when the kids are being cheeky, they even say Israel knowing that Israel will of course correct them – that’s part of the game:-) Regardless of how you say it, dad’s around the world are loved.
Today as I was getting our cherubs ready for school and daycare, I was struck by just how fortunate I am to have Israel there to help me with the last minute maddening rush to get out the door on time. (Can someone please explain why it takes a 7 year old at least 3 asks to put their shoes on, and countless asks to do their hair. And while you are there, can you solve the riddle of how to get an almost 3 year old to let you brush his teeth.)
This morning I even commented to Israel that I take my hat off to all those who do this on their own every morning because they are doing it solo or their partner has already left for work. It’s strange how my brain works, because from there I started to think about how a lot of Dads miss out on all that FUN (a term I use very loosely because we all know ladies, it is not really fun) every morning!
Anyway, I digress from what I really wanted to talk about, which is the role Dads play in the family unit.
Some Dads work from home, some work in the city, some work short days, some work long days, some have to go away for a few days to work and these days, some Dads even stay at home.
Some Dads play the fun guy, some play the disciplinarian, some play the soccer or footy coach, some play the human gym and these days, some Dads may cook or bring home dinner.
And Dads also have to play the role of friend, life partner and lover to mum’s.
But all that said, there’s generally two things Dads all have in common.
1) They are all trying to do the best for what they think their family needs – just like us mum’s;
2) Their children love them – just like us mum’s.
I am constantly struck by the little love notes I find Indrani has written and drawn for Israel. They are beautiful and a constant reminder that although I sometimes feel like I am the one doing all the ferrying to school, sports, cooking dinner, washing etc, that her dad is playing a very important role in her life too. We have different roles we are playing, but they are both equally important.
It’s only in moments of clarity like this that I can recall discussions with Israel where he has said to me, “don’t you think sometimes I’d like to swap and spend more time with the kids?” It’s a perspective I don’t often think about. Do you?
Parenting and making life as a family work is not unlike a movie. We have roles we have to play. We have responsibilities. It’s not always easy. Sometimes we mess up our roles but most of the time we get it right. Both of us, that is.
What prompted me to write this blog was because I have been feeling so overwhelmed with everything I need to do run the household, be a good wife and mother, study and start up my health coaching business and at the same time be good to myself. You know the daily grind. I’ve been feeling a bit ticked off at Israel about it all.
But today in my moment of clarity as I was leaving to do the school rush, I realised he too faces his own daily grind, and that the both of us are just doing the best we know how to do for our family. Today I feel at peace with the roles we both play in our family.
Although I have not done any study on this, nor researched it, I am fairly confident that I am not the only mum who has these thoughts of overwhelm and annoyance at their partner. But I hope in writing this, my moment of clarity and realisation may also help someone else come to peace with the roles in their family.
So yes, there may be many ways to say Dad, and there may be many different roles a Dad plays for his family. But no matter what you call him, or what role he plays, he is doing his absolute best, and I would encourage you to take some time to appreciate him for that.
To Mums everywhere, be at peace with your family, and the role your partner plays. Rest assured in the knowledge that you are both playing an equally important role for your family, and you are each doing your best.
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