Wednesday, March 19, 2014
A brief reflection on fatherhood/motherhood/parenthood
My wife is away overseas for work at the moment so I'm taking care of the kids on my own for a little while. This time has provided for me a few opportunities to ponder the gift of parenthood and the unique role of fatherhood. At the same time I'm able to appreciate the work that a more does and the care she has for her children.
Yes, I'm the proverbial "Mr. Mum", but the only issue I have with that term of endearment (don't get me wrong, I do take it as a compliment) is this:
There is absolutely NOTHING I can do which will match the love, care, and nurturing that my wife gives to our children; everything that I do falls terribly short. To say that I am a fill-in or replacement would be an affront to motherhood. I am, however, a father and trying to be the best dad I can be. What I give is different and how I give it is different. Put the shoe on the other foot: why aren't mothers called "Ms. Dad" when the fathers are out of town?
Growing up I was very blessed to have a mother and a father who - despite the breakup of their marriage - were every bit the mother and father to me. Mum was mum to me; Dad was dad to me. Plain and simple. Neither attempted to compensate for any absences; I had exactly what I needed.
No, I'm not offended by being called "Mr. Mum" but what I'm doing is called "parenting". Secondary to that, what I am is a father and a father to my children I will always be. As a father I give my children my best. My wife - the mother of my children - inspires me to be more for my children. It's during times like these when Shannon is away that I appreciate ALL that a mother does for their children. Immeasurable, irreplaceable, invaluable.
"As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him." - Psalms 103:13