Strange But Not Surprising
Just as there’s no definitive job description for “Mother”, “Mum” or “Ma” (or whatever you call your mother or mother figure), there isn’t one for “Father”, “Dad” or “Da” either.
Love No Matter What
To me, “Father” means gentle, kind, patient, loving, responsible, lead-by-example, team player, always learning and makes things better. After watching an inspiring Ted talk by Andrew Solomon, I have added to my list “accepting”.
According to Andrew Solomon, a father or parent not only loves their child unconditionally, they unconditionally accept who their child is. They accept who their child has chosen to be. They accept who their child has become.
The Transformative Power of Love
Now that I’m a parent, I realise acceptance is a big ask of a parent, perhaps even more than unconditional love, because it demands we forego judging our children.
So how do we stop judging our children when we spend so much time and effort judging what’s good and bad for them when they’re little (and may be even long after they need us to make decisions on their behalf)?
The answer lies in what defines a father. By being gentler, kinder and more patient with ourselves, we don’t just become better parents, it’s a chance to change who we are and become a better person.