by David T. Bruce
Many of us prefer to organize our stuff, bringing order to chaos. As a society, we reflexively organize the people around us, too. Subsequently, a culture has evolved in which women and men are each assigned tasks, careers, and behaviors that make us most comfortable. As a society, even in the twenty-first century, we lean towards the preconception that women raise children and men establish careers. The movement by the majority of women to challenge this preconception continues to gain momentum, but there is a quieter movement underway as well to redefine the role of fatherhood.
A woman can challenge the stereotype that if she chooses to be a parent, she cannot build a career; this challenge is justified. Men typically enjoy the option of working in a number of careers, but many of us also opt to be fathers. Men can simultaneously reap the rewards of having a career and being designated as a father. The challenge women have is to defy the stereotype that, by having children, they cannot successfully build a career. Women are constantly working to redefine what it means to be a woman. On the other hand, men face their own unique (and at the same time similar) challenges.
While men are given credit where credit is due in the world of business, we are often overlooked, if not slighted, as adequate caregivers or parents. Many men are career-driven, as most of us have been raised with the societal expectation that we will provide for our families. At the same time, many of us desire to be an integral part of their children’s lives from the moment of the child’s conception and into adulthood. We men may not have the “mothering instinct” inherent in women, but we are indeed capable of nurturing. Men want to – and are – involved with the healthcare, the education, and the emotional development of their children. As such, dads have questions and concerns about raising children much the same as moms do.
Dads need a sounding board. Dads need resources, ideas, and someone to talk to about issues that dads face at home and in society. Dads Get Real offers an online community in which dads can share with one another. Dads can vent, learn, and bond with other dads who share the same desire to embrace all that comes with being a parent.
Regardless of profession, cultural background, religious preference, gender preference, age, or experience as a father, dads have a need and a voice. It is precisely the varied qualities of dads that can benefit everyone who chooses to join this community. As parents, dads can have an impact on their children and their children’s world. Dads You can be real at Dads Get Real.
Happy Father’s Day!