Why Us Dads Suck

Welcome to another episode of Full Frontal Fatherhood. Today I want to talk about why so often we as fathers suck. It’s actually quite a simple, but profound reason. It comes down to that’s what we think of ourselves. We think that fathers aren’t very good parents and there aren’t a lot of good role models around, either. A lot of movies show us as bumbling idiots. And where are the strong fathers in our society

We’re all so unsure about what it is to be a strong father, that we’re left alone without a role model. Thus, we end up thinking we suck. You see a lot of fathers, our friends, colleagues, stumbling with it, fumbling with it. We go into the whole thing with fear. Our wives get pregnant. The birth is coming near. Our wives often have read more about what they should do. Then out pops our child.

Our child’s birth is an amazing moment and also a really scary moment for most of us. Can we do this? So often we think we can’t and then when it gets difficult, we just hand the child off to our wives and we continue to feel like we suck. So we do. So we’re not that engaged. We’re not that helpful. We’re not that present for our partners or our children.

How to Not be a Deadbeat Dad:

1. The first step is for us to be able to sit in the bad feeling that really lives in our body of not being good at it. Insecurity is a sensation in the body. If you can come to learn to tolerate it and be with that sensation, then you don’t have to run away from it.  You don’t have to distract yourself away from it, either by giving away your child or picking up your phone. Just be in that experience of insecurity, of “Oh, my God.  I don’t know if I’m doing this right. Am I holding his head right? What should I do?  She’s crying. How do I change a diaper.”  All these things.  We sit in that insecurity and come to realize that we can do it by just giving ourself a chance.  We just have to try it.  

2. It also requires that our partners stand back a little bit and give us a chance to figure out how to do it our own way.  They need to give us space to do it wrong and then figure out our way of doing it, which may be totally different from how they do it, but no worse.  Sure, at the beginning they probably do know a better way.  They probably did spend a little bit more time studying the whole subject or watching their friends do it. Our partners need to stand back.  I talk a lot about that in another video.  We need to step up, step in to that insecurity, and realize that we really can be just as good a care provider as our partners.

 I hope you take this journey into your insecurity and realize you can be just as good a parent as your partner.

Thank you for joining us for another episode of Full Frontal Fatherhood.  Please join the conversation below.  I would love to hear what you have to say, but let’s keep it friendly.  This is hard work, and we’re all doing our best.

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Take care now.  See you next Friday.