Question: “How did having an absent parent of your own change your own parenting/expectations of your significant other?”
Kirstyn: “It changed me as a parent because I was so scared I would have to do it all alone like my mom did so I made sure I could do it. I often refused help…”
Brianne: “I made the decision that I would never leave my kids to feel abandoned like I did growing up. Even though I had both of my parents my father was gone a lot. There were always missed birthdays and plans. So if anything I never wanted my kids to feel that disappointment.”
Elizabeth: “As I matured my standards and expectations evolved. At first I thought it was just important to have a dad around but then I realized they need a damn good dad and a damn good dad who is good to their mother, a role model.”
My husband is an amazing husband. I admire him even more as a husband, now that he’s a father. A good father. He loves teaching our son to drum on things, zoom him around the room in his walker, loves caring for him (even on the rough days,) and gets so excited to go pick him up after work. I admire my husband as a father even more-so, because I don’t have that. I did at one point, but those days are fleeting and difficult to remember now. My father has been off the grid of my life for most of a decade now, making brief visits back yearly, where it feels more like inviting a stranger into my house than my own bloodline. It makes me long for the moments that I pictured growing up. Watching movies like Father of the Bride makes me terribly sad. My husband didn’t need to ask for my father’s permission to marry me. Where are my moments of playing basketball with my dad in the driveway? Where is he when we need taught how to do house projects? When we put our nursery together? When I graduated college?
Now I live happily by these simple facts: I’m an adult. I have my own family.
Simple enough, right?
I have a great family. My husband, son, mom and amazing step-father that treats me as his own, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brother and his own family. So why is it, that the simple concept of not having a biological father around as a permanent fixture bothers me so much sometimes?
I’ll tell ya: In the last year my fascination has grown tenfold. Now that I have my own child, I cannot IMAGINE a moment without him, much less days, weeks, or years. The very structure of my being would crumble. I know this is true for my husband, too. And while I understand that as our tiny human gets older, he’ll gain more independence from us… but I LOVE him, I NEED him, and I absolutely will not let him live a life without the love of his parents on a consistent basis. So how is it possible for some biological parents to live without their children? What’s different?
I definitely don’t have the answer. Whether my son is 2, 18, 25, 40, or 60… I want him in my life. He is not a passing phase. He is not a “portion” of my life. He is not only my responsibility until he’s 18. He’s not just an obligation. He is certainly not, and will never be, unwanted.
He is beautiful. Smart. Wonderfully curious. He loves us, more than anyone on this planet. We are his safe haven. His entire world, and he ours. He is wanted. He is us.
So as raw as this article is, and as undoubtedly and unfortunately relatable as it is for many, I want to thank the parents out there that commit to their children fully, and for a lifetime.
A billion things could change, and I know with no hesitation that my husband will always love and care for our son. Whether he is 2, 18, 25, 40, or 60… he will want him in his life, all his life.
My husband. He is one amazing person. He is everything that a dad should be. In the fullest sense of the word, he is “Dad”.
I sincerely hope that I’m hitting home with a Dad out there that’s reading this, and realizes he needs to step up to the plate. You are the only biological father your child will ever have. Waiting means missing memories and milestones. Be there. All the time. Even if your child is 40 with a family of their own and you have royally screwed up, be there. Go mend that relationship. It certainly won’t happen over night, but try.