As a father I am asked, “Do you help your wife with the kids?” as if I am not a worthy husband if I am not inclined to do the day to day activities that involve raising my kids. I don’t like that question because this implies that I am not involved with their up bringing, as if the expectation is that I DO NOT help with the kids. The fact of the matter is, that I DO NOT help with the kids and I DO NOT want to be that kind of father! I want to participate in my daughters lives and that includes ALL the day to day activities that require me to work with my wife to raise our kids. I enjoy doing the dirtiest of doodies (yes I misspelled on purpose) to the easiest of tasks!
As a father, I want to experience those moments with my girls and watch as they learn to interact with me and my wife. Being “there” requires that I am “there”! There in the micro-moments that make up the sum of their lives. I do this with the understanding that my time with them is limited. I don’t want to think back when they are adults wishing I had spent more time with them. I try to savor those moments and build memories good and bad all the same.
As a participant, I have the opportunity to set an example of the kind of people I want them to include in their lives. My hope is, by my example, they will decide to have friends who will participate in their lives not just be a spectator.
|The definition of help from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/help :
help:”to do something that makes it easier for someone to do a job, to deal with a problem, etc”
Really? As a father, should I do something that makes it easier for my wife to do a “job”? Raising my kids isn’t just a “job” in which I help my wife accomplish a task. It is a responsibility I take very seriously.
There are many long days at work that slam down on my willingness to get up off the couch and begin to engage in my children’s lives. I always fall back on the fact that I DON’T want to help with the kids, I WANT to participate in their lives!