Fatherhood - the Quest to Find Your Purpose
Stay-at-Home-Dads have a unique fatherhood journey. This article explores that journey and attempts to help clarify your true purpose as a dad.
This article is dedicated to my fellow stay-at-home dads – Journey Men.
We all committed to this role for different reasons. Some have done it out of genuine free will and choice; others have done it out of necessity for reasons beyond control. Whatever your reason, realize that your role as a stay-at-home dad is meaningful and impactful. Embrace it! Wear your stay-at-home dad title proudly and unapologetically!
Why Journey Men ? Being a stay-at-home dad is an extraordinary journey that most fathers do not experience. Our 24/7 job offers a unique opportunity to build a special bond with our children; after-all, we are on the front line for all of their formative life experiences. It is throughout this journey that some of us begin to explore the true meaning of life and perhaps attempt to gain some clarity into what your purpose is as a dad. This is a compelling question and the answer is likely not the same for everyone.
To connect with your purpose, let’s delve into the journey and consider this perspective. In fatherhood, we have two distinct journeys – our personal journey and that of our child. We are highly invested in both and although each are naturally unique, combined they may help simplify the understanding of your purpose as a dad.
It is not easy being a kid in today’s world – our children face much different and more complex challenges than we faced as kids. Most recently, this is all too real and evident with COVID-19 and how it has disrupted our kids’ daily lives and routines. It’s common and natural for fathers (and moms too) to lose sight of our kids’ challenges. Often we end up placing a great deal of pressure on them to outperform their peers and meet others’ expectations. I wonder if this pressure is worth the toll it takes on their confidence and our relationship with them? Shouldn’t they be striving to meet their own expectations?
What would be different in our kids’ lives if we, as dads, could discover an extraordinary way of understanding, communicating, and connecting with them? Our kids yearn to feel understood; they need us to connect with them, both physically and emotionally. Is there a better way for you? A concerted focus on fulfilling our kid’s needs could be the real difference in reducing the stress of their challenges and keeping them on a healthy developmental trek throughout this adventure called life. In the end, isn’t the ultimate goal for our kids to discover how to be happy?
Your journey is equally important and impactful in discovering your purpose as a dad. Are the routine motions of life in your fatherhood role distracting your inner focus on what matters most? Invite yourself to engage at a deeper level and see a bigger picture – outer results versus inner experiences. All too often, we lose sight of the big picture by getting stuck focusing on outer results. Why do we do that? What would happen if you stepped back and reconnected with yourself and discovered the inner experiences that matters most? Is it possible that a deeper, yet simpler, understanding of your inner experience can contribute to clarifying your purpose as a dad? I suspect that if you do, you may discover a simple yet transformative conclusion. Your purpose as a dad is right here, right now, right in front of you. Encourage yourself to enjoy every moment, every day of your stay-at-home dad role – your purpose.
“Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man” – Frank Pittman