Tag Archives: Fatherhood

Blogger Talk

Donna

As students prepare for graduation, growing to a new phase in their lives, what advice would you give them that may help with this process?

Be fearless, keep your options open, and always choose in favour of your passions.  I believe you can do anything.

June has us celebrating Fathers, what sage advice or words of wisdom, has your Dad given you, that you want to share?

A man of few words, my Dad taught me that you never have to raise your voice to be heard.  Always be humble and kind.

What is/was your relationship with your Father like?  If you could change one thing, what would it be? 

My relationship with my Dad was one of ease, love and humour.  The only thing I would change is, he’d still be with us.

The month of June always brings such promise of renewal, what is your spring/summer renewal ritual?  Do you have one?

As soon as the sun warm the earth, you will find me wandering the Garden Centres.  Inhaling deeply to fill my soul, and buying way too many plants for the small gardening space I have.

Share with us something new that you have tried, are doing or embarking on this spring/summer.

Tried Edamame, and now I am hooked!  So delicious.

Valerie

As students prepare for graduation, growing to a new phase in their lives, what advice would you give them that may help with this process?

The best advice I can give to students getting ready to graduate is, explore. Explore your community, country, yourself or the world. Know that this is your life and you do not have to conform to societal expectations. One of the best parts of graduating is knowing you can take some time to discover yourself. Set goals, make a plan and do things for you. It is through self care and exploration that you will discover your place in the world. Never underestimate the value of exploring your own community, understanding where you are can help lead you to where you want to go.

Do you believe students graduating today in any field of study have been prepared for the future, for a career in their field?

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An Open Letter To My Dad

Dear Dad,

Communicating with each other has never been a strength of ours, so I’ll just jump right in. We’ve had our fair share of disagreements and for the longest time, I was always the child who had to do what she was told. Sometimes, it’s hard for you to remember that I’ve grown up into an adult now and sometimes, it’s hard for me to remember that you only want what’s best for me. So, thank you. I don’t tell you this enough, but you amaze me. You are so talented with fixing anything around the house which, as a child, didn’t mean much to me. But you were able to use those skills to solve my problems like fixing broken necklaces and even shoes when I was younger! Now I’m able to appreciate your skills and your heart. We don’t say it and we rarely express it, but I am so grateful that you are my dad. I got really lucky. I guess all I really want to say is thank you for always being there, despite our disagreements and despite our lack of communication sometimes. Like most of our conversations, I’ll keep this sweet and short. Thanks dad and I hope you have an amazing father’s day.

Love always,

Evelyn

Trailblazing Fathers

There is something to be said about a dad doing things outside of the societal ‘norm’. These ‘trailblazing’ daddies who are out there starting hair schools so other dads can learn how to style their daughter’s hair. The ones rising to fame because a photo of himself with his infant strapped to his chest while brushing his daughter’s hair in the bathroom has baffled the world. The daddy bloggers who are fielding questions from other dads and posting about the often hilarious antics of their experiences with their children. The one posting letters to his wife on Facebook about his trials and tribulations with his young ones while she is laid up in the hospital (who subsequently gained thousands upon thousands of followers.) These daddies are showing men around the world that it’s cool to be an involved father.father-682663_1920

There is also something to be said about those same dads not really understanding why their actions are being praised so astoundingly when to them they are just being the best dad they can be.

We’ve recently been seeing a rise in men tossing aside the oppressive ideas that dads can’t be as involved or more in their children’s upbringing. We are seeing them shrug off the need to maintain the macho status as the typical absent father. And it’s so exciting to see how embraced those dads have been. How encouraged they are to ‘keep up the good work’.  “I feel like the kudos have made me a better dad,” he said. “When you hear ‘you are such an awesome dad,’ you start to believe it and let go of the mistakes you make as a parent.”

It’s gratifying to see moms posting blogs in defense of their baby daddy’s like this one about dumbass stuff we need to stop saying to dads and it’s comforting to witness this shift in society’s thinking. Women have been saying for years that we can do anything a man can do. So maybe we shouldn’t act so surprised when it turns out that men can do anything we can do too.

Kudos to you, you trailblazer daddies you!

Father – Daughter Interviews

With Father’s Day just having passed, we decided to celebrate and interview our fathers/step-fathers/father-figures. The fathers were asked to answer the following questions about what it is like exactly to be a dad:

  1. Tell us one thing you want everyone to know about being a Father/Step-Father/Father-figure?
  2. What would you love your daughter to know about you?
  3. Sometimes there are those not-so-perfect Fathering moments – what is one piece of advice you can give to help each other through those moments?
  4. As a Father, Step-Father, or Fatherly influence, what is your biggest worry?
  5. Can you share the best memory or moment – that made you realize….I’m a Father?
  6. What is the best or most useful piece of advice you can give a new Father of a daughter?
  7. If there was one thing you could tell your wife, or women in general that would make being the Father of a daughter easier – what would that be?
  8. Has having a daughter(s) changed you?  Can you share how?

Mark & Kaelyn:

What would you love your daughter to know about you?

pot picture
Kaelyn and Mark behind a pot Kaelyn worked on for months to give to her dad for Father’s Day.

I would love for my daughter to know that I think about her every second of every minute of every day when I’m away at work.

Sometimes there are those not-so-perfect Fathering moments – what is one piece of advice you can give to help each other through those moments?

Love unconditionally and don’t let unnecessary expectations rule your relationships.

As a Father, Step-Father, or Fatherly influence, what is your biggest worry?

Biggest worry: my child gets sick or hurt.

Can you share the best memory or moment – that made you realize….I’m a Father?

The first time I got to hold you and to this day each time when I get to hug or hold you.

What is the best or most useful piece of advice you can give a new Father of a daughter?

Teach her to smile and not to take her time so seriously.

If there was one thing you could tell your wife, or women in general that would make being the Father of a daughter easier – what would that be?

Share them equally at all times.

Has having a daughter(s) changed you? Can you share how?

Yes, I have had to look inside myself for better answers to this gift of life.

Gord & Jessica

Tell us one thing you want everyone to know about being a Father?

It is very rewarding when you see your children achieve something that they like.

What would you love your daughter to know about you?

I want my daughter to know that I always want the best for her.

Sometimes there are those not-so-perfect Fathering moments – what is one piece of advice you can give to help each other through these moments.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, things will always get better.

As a Father, what is your biggest worry?

My biggest worry is that my daughter won’t follow her dreams.

Can you share the best memory or moment that made you realize …I’m a father?

My best memory that made me realize I was a father was looking into her eyes the moment she was born.

What is the best or most useful piece of advice you can give a new Father of a daughter?

Even though you want to keep your daughter protected and close to you, you have to allow them the space and time to experience everything they want to in life.

James and Mei Mei

Michael and Candice Lee

Tell us one thing you want everyone to know about being a Father/Step-Father/Father-figure?

It’s very important to me as a stepfather that I always treat my stepchildren as well as I do my own.

Sometimes there are those not-so-perfect Fathering moments – what is one piece of advice you can give to help each other through those moments?

The best piece of advice I could give stepparents is to remember to be patient with their new family members.

As a Father, Step-Father, or Fatherly influence, what is your biggest worry?

I want ALL of my kids to be happy in life.

What is the best or most useful piece of advice you can give a new Father of a daughter?

Don’t be so overbearing with your children and stepchildren that you force them to run into someone else’s arms for love and comfort.

 

Murray

While many dads all over the country are looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day this weekend, for Murray, today will be yet another reminder of what he doesn’t have: time with his daughter. Murray’s daughter was about a year old when the relationship between him and his partner dissolved. They had had a good, happy relationship, but financial troubles and irreparable issues slowly eroded what once had been love. Murray came home one day to his things packed up in boxes, and he was asked to leave. He found shelter with his parents for some time but that wasn’t a long-term solution. Murray reached a low point and finally decided to move the Niagara Falls Men’s Shelter run by the YW.

“When I do see her, she is shy and timid, like you would be with a stranger.”

Since then, he has seen his daughter once. She is almost three now. He keeps toys for her in his tidy shelter unit, but he doubts that she will ever get to play with them. “When I do see her, she is shy and timid, like you would be with a stranger. She shouldn’t have that with her own father,” he says, angry, disappointed. Murray and his daughter’s mom turned their lives around when they found out they were having a child. “We got off the drugs; we got clean together – it woke me up. She was a blessing.”

Today, almost three years later, he feels like a babysitter who only gets to see his daughter on rare occasions. “She’s a good mom, and I realize I still have things in my life to clean up, but I just want to see my daughter. Even just for a couple of hours a week; that is all I am asking for.” Going through the court system is simply not an option for Murray at this point and by the time it will be, it might be too late. “A daughter or a son need their father as much as their mother.”

His biggest worry is that by not being around her, he can’t teach her the many things that he has learned.

Murray knows that he has made mistakes in his life. “I was young; I was stupid,” but he is doing everything he can to get back on his own two feet:  he is trying to find secure housing, he is trying to find a job – and try is all he can do. The same goes for his daughter. He will not stop fighting for her and he won’t stop trying to be the dad his daughter’s mother needs him to be in order to let him see his child. His biggest worry is that by not being around her he can’t teach her the many things that he has learned. Murray is homeless. He has fought the excruciating battle that is substance addiction but here he is: 27 years old, sober and determined to get his life back. There are lessons he has to pass on, values that go beyond materialism, things he believes in, beliefs that have helped him to keep going and to never give up.

When he talks about the few memories that he has been able to share wiMurrayth her, a big smile washes over his face. “On my mom’s street, there is an owl that sits on a fence and as soon as we turn onto the street, she says to me: let’s go, see the owl, daddy! It’s moments like that, just getting to spend time with her, just hearing her say daddy, that are my favourite memories.”