Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hand's On

Happy Father's Day Gen X Dad's!

I hope you are all being told today what an amazing job you are doing by your grateful and devoted partners and children.

Because seriously?  Do we all know how lucky we are to have these partners?  To be parenting in these times?

We only have to look back to our own Dad's - bless 'em and we ought be grateful for them too - to see the remarkable changes that have occurred in fatherhood in the last thirty years.

It's not that long ago, within each of our lifetimes that it was the societal norm for the work of running a house and raising a family to be divided along gender lines.  And for parenting to be seen as women's work.

I don't live in a fantasy land where these gender divides have vanished altogether, in fact it amazes me sometimes when I think about how traditionally my own home runs.  

It has come as a surprise to me, for example that I have not wanted to return to the workforce (yet) after having kids while my partner goes out to work.

His work is not regular and he is home more often than not and therefore he has been a very present Dad.  Very engaged and "hands on."

But it strikes me that even those Dads who do work long hours outside of the home now, in this era still make it a priority to be home to see their kids and to engage with them in real ways.

And this engagement, this changing nappies, this bathing, this reading bedtime stories and feeding messy dinners, this hands on approach leads to an emotional closeness that I think many fathers of generations past missed out on.

And the kids missed out too.

There aren't too many fathers in our circles now who don't hug and kiss and cry with their kids and what a beautiful thing that is.

I feel very grateful to be raising my kids in such an emotionally generous generation and in the presence of such emotionally engaged Dads.

There are good men out there, doing a great job of being men and Dads, thoughtfully, compassionately and respectfully.

There's a lot of debate at the moment about sexism and poor attitudes towards women and that needs to happen too - no doubt.

But this Father's Day I am grateful that we are of a generation where hands on fatherhood is expected and embraced and enjoyed.  

And I'm thrilled that my kids are the recipients of that.

Listen To: Harry Chapin Cats in the Cradle

Image Licensed Under Creative Commons


  1. One of my all time favourite songs, Kate! I love songs that have a strong narrative. We are lucky, aren't we? Our girls are going to have preeeety high expectations of their men based on the example their daddies are providing. Watch out boys! ;-)

    1. Yes! and so they should! ;) So glad you liked my music choice - sometimes I feel a bit of a dork putting songs to my posts, but I grew up with this song so I do love it. x