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Thread: Dads

  1. #1

    Dads

    Single parenting is much more common these days than it used to be. It is also more socially accepted, which I think is really important. But has anyone ever noticed that often dads get considered to be nonessential?
    I was talking to a friend last night who grew up without a father in the picture. She was speaking in admiration of her mother who raised two girls on her own despite many difficulties. She said that her mother did great job on her own and she never felt liked she was missing anything in her family life. Until that point, it was a really great story. But as we kept talking it started to bother me that there are people out there who don't see any value in fathers. I understand that usually, mothers can't help the circumstances and they need to work extra hard to parent their children when there is only one parent. I also agree that women shouldn't be wallowing in self-pity if they are single mothers, and they should be independent and proud of themselves. But should we as a society be putting so little importance on fathers? I can't imagine my life without my dad. My parents were really a team raising me, and that's how I grew up believing things should be. The man I plan to have children with can't wait to be an involved father.
    I guess I'm just looking for opinions/solutions from both single moms and two-parent families. How do you handle these situations? Do we continue to tell our little girls that fathers aren't important just because theirs wasn't a good one? Or do we give them hope for their own families some day? Any insight would be appreciated because it's been on my mind all day.
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  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    I basically grew up without a father. I speak to him now less than 5 times a year and only see him once every couple of years. I was always sad that I didn't have a dad. I still get sad sometimes when I think about how I never got to experience that relationship. I can't wrap my mind around someone having a child and not caring enough to get to know them. Not having that for myself makes me want to find someone who I know will be a good father to my children. If my fiance and I were to end up divorced one day (not that I think we will), I have 100% confidence that he would still be an amazing father to any children we have. I feel like that's something to consider when you have children with someone... will they be a good father if we break up? If not, then they're probably not the kind of man you want to be with anyways. I think a father figure is important and maybe I'm just missing it but I haven't seen people downplaying the importance of a father.
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    506
    I have yet to tell all of my situation on here and I'd like to keep it that way. (My family judges me for it, safe to say it's not something that I should share here)
    However,
    I have 2 fathers between my 5 children....
    I have done everything I could to get the two of them to be in their lives.
    The father of the two eldest and the twins has been given MANY chances and walked away each time.
    The other one refuses to be around unless we're together....(tried that recently, doesn't work)
    But I certainly feel like having a father figure for my children is important. Yes, I know I could do it on my own because I have been pretty much doing that anyway.
    I am very close with my father and I would like my children to have that bond.
    My children are still very young so they don't fully understand the situation yet but my two eldest (especially my daughter) love the 'idea' of 'daddy'. She's very happy whenever her bio father does come around and she called my SO 'daddy' almost immediately (my son took a little time, he's shy).
    And while I think having that father figure around is important, I don't think it should be forced.
    When I wasn't with my SO, I was constantly told that I needed to be with someone for my children. Yes, I did want a father figure for them but going out purposely searching for one seemed a little ridiculous to me. I don't think any relationship should be forced.
    I had been friends with my SO for a long time and never even considered him as someone to be with, but it happened naturally and he's a great father to my children. He treats them as if they were his own.
    I'm glad I stuck with letting it happen naturally because I forced it with the two bio fathers of my children, for their sake, and I think both them and I will be much happier with the way it's turned out.

    Sorry if that's scattered. Youngest daughter has been fussy so I've been writing this in-between her tantrums.
    Basically
    Father figures, yes important.
    But at the same time, don't make something happen that's not supposed to.
    My princess [11/24/09], my little man [4/25/10], my munchkin [2/13/12], and my boys [12/3/13]

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  4. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    I do sometimes feel dads are considered nonessential to some people. That makes me quite sad. I do agree with PP that it shouldn't be forced if dad wants nothing to do with the family, but there are lots of ways in which mom is considered more essential to the family unit than dad. I'm told I worshiped my bio dad when I was young, but after the age of about 6 I didn't see him much and was raised by an awful step/adoptive father. I haven't seen or talked to adoptive dad for close to 14 years, and I see bio dad about once every 7 or so years, and talk to him for about 5 minutes every 3 years.

    "Dad" isn't something I really get. I don't think of that often, or haven't in the past. My grandma asked me a few months back if I miss having a dad, and I was surprised at first, because it had become nonessential to me. I answered no, and then thought about it and realized, yes. Maybe I do. As I get closer to having my own child, I think about it more. I don't understand what a dad is, and I'm curious what it will be like to experience it through my children and my SO. It's a relationship I look forward to learning more about.
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  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    675
    I actually was raised by a single father. My mother passed away when I was eight and my brother was three years old. He wasn't perfect but overall he gave me a wonderful childhood and I'm still very close to him as an adult. I have immense respect for any single parent but I wouldn't ever tell a child that just because they don't have a parent that doesn't mean they aren't important. I constantly heard growing up that nobody could ever love you like your mother. And that statement always really annoyed me. I guess I would focus on the idea that one great parent is really wonderful but two involved parents is even better. And that fathers or other close male relatives/friends can provide some necessary things.
    My husband is a really wonderful father. He's great with our kids and I can't imagine raising them on my own. I love my kids but sometimes I need a break from them and it's wonderful when after a rough day he puts them to bed. He also behaves with them differently then me. He is more likely to encourage them to try new things and take risks. He tickles them more often and prefers doing different activities with them like playing ball. I definitely feel that my children's lives are better because they have their father.
    Mother to: Patrick Werner (3/10) and Mary Claire (06/12)

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