So much focus is usually on Mother's Day. I get that, I am a Mother of Three. However, I want to talk about my husband. And I want to talk to other men out there too.
Let me say this right here and now....any guy can be a SD (Sperm Donor is what I politely say). Sex Ed 101 taught us that somewhere back in the day. But, the difference is....It takes a MAN to be a Daddy. You are not a daddy because you have the same blood running through your veins as that child. You are not a daddy even if you don't share the same DNA, and you live in the same house. You can call yourself a Father all day long. I want to share with you what the difference is to be a Father vs. a Daddy. You don't need me to explain the SD category. Self explanatory.
Becoming a Father is easy in my eyes. You may or may not watch the woman carry a child in her stomach for 9 months. And for those of you who put that baby there and were never around and left her high and dry. Please don't ever utter the words "Father" or "Daddy". You are a sperm donor. This is not bitterness. This is real life. You do not get that privilege.
You can be a Father by being by their side during labor. You go back to work, and some men are still stuck in the 50's and believe that the woman stays home in bare feet and makes sure the house, the baby, the garden, the everything is done by the time you get home and then look smokin' hot all at the same time. You play with the baby, child or say "wassup" to your teenager (because frankly, you have no idea what else to say) Then after about 15 minutes, it is time for you to rest. You are there when you can for important events, IF the work schedule works for you. When you do not know who your child is but, in today's standards you helped "raise" them by financially by buying their food, clothes, tuition, etc. and your nuclear family lives under the same house. You still have the right to call yourself a Father. No judgements, that is how you either learned your role or chose that role.
Here is when you earn your "Daddy" wings. When your child is not of your exact DNA. However, the blood that beats in your heart, the blood beats for that child. When your child is up until 4 am throwing up everywhere and you hold your hands out for your child to throw up in. When your child has fallen down on the ground and has a nasty "boo boo". You don't even think about asking anyone else. You scoop your child up and fix the boo boo and put a Band-Aid on. You wipe their tears and tell them not to worry that "Daddy" is there.
Being a Daddy means you want to know your child. You want to know everything. You feel their pain, you feel their joy, your heart is full everyday for that child. You would lay down your life for that young baby, child, or teenager. You pray for them, you ask the Lord to watch over them every single day of their life. You help pick out their clothes if they want you too. Some men are color blind (no names mentioned...:) But, they TRIED. Do you see the difference? THEY TRY. As heavy as your schedule was, you would do whatever it took to make that baseball game. Or make sure if you have a girl that when her favorite movie comes out...you take her out. (I know, I hate some of those movies too. ) BUT....the time you invested and the simple act of wanting to spend one on one time with that child will reap tremendous benefits.
Some men say "I am their step-dad" or "Foster Dad" or "Adoptive Dad" or the Dad figure in that childs life. Ok,...there are rules to this. You can only call yourself a fill in the blank-DAD if you follow the DADDY rules. If not, you are a fill in the blank-father if you help provide for that child. If you do none of the above. You sir, are just a man in that childs life. You don't get to escape the rules. You CHOOSE.
I need to say this loud and clear. Just because you and the child share the same DNA....THAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU A DADDY. You are in one of the two other categories. You CHOOSE to be a DADDY. The same blood running through your veins does not give you that coat of armor. You earn it. I think you heard me on that one.
By being a Daddy...you show respect for the woman who carried that child for you and you chose to be with. If you are divorced...no matter...you can still be a great daddy. I know a ton of them. Do not disrespect the other person involved in the creation of this gift from God. Because when you do, that child is a part of that DNA and it hurts them to the core. (This goes for the moms too..don't talk about your ex in a bad way in front of your child) Do what you need to do...not in front of your child. Show respect. That is a Dad. Teach your son how to respect a woman. Teach your girls about having high standards. They are watching you. If you disrespect someone, the boys will do that to others and the girls will assume that is what is supposed to happen to them. DON'T DO IT. They will carry it all the way to adult hood. Don't make that child carry that burden. Be a Dad. An involved one.
Men, it is time to think about some things. It is incredibly easy to make a baby. Life is about choices. When a child enters this world, they have a destiny. They are not necessarrily destined to be with you. That is how I believe. In my situation with my children, God chose their Daddy. To wear the badge of Daddy is an honor. Something every man on this earth should strive to be.
Some men I know have never had children. Do you know that you can be a positive influence in a childs life, especially when their Father or SD isn't around? Look around for opportunities to mentor these amazing young boys, soon to be men. There are many associations that have mentoring programs. You as a man have the power to affect the course of a childs life. You were not given that power for evil, but, for good. It is an armor, it is the highest armor of steel that you could ever, ever wear. Wear it with dignity.
Many of my friends never knew their father. Some never had a male presence in their home. Some did and it was horrible. I see a lot of divorced parents that the men go out of their way to get to know their former significant other partner. High five to you!! Seriously, because if you are man enough to allow another man to help raise your child...that is awesome. It does not mean you all have to barbeque at each others house every week. But, keeping the peace for the child and there is the word RESPECT again. RESPECT your former partners choice. Being a good Dad is making sure you know what is going on. That child trusts you enough to tell you if something is going wrong. Respect and Trust and are so fragile. It is so hard to get and so very easy to lose.
Father's, and SD (sperm donors)....step up...do the right thing. It is never too late.
To my husband, you have been the most amazing Daddy to our three children. Your heart beats for them every single day. Your eyes light up when they walk in the room. They look at you as their hero. You pay attention to what each one likes. You are sensitive to the fact when one child feels left out. Your destiny was to be a Daddy. My goodness, I have never seen anything quite like it. It is a gift that our children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Thank you for being my partner in this life to raise our children to love, to respect, to honor, and to grow into amazing women and man. God destined for you to be their Daddy. Thank you for choosing to be more than a father, but, a dad.... a dad who lives for our children. The blood does not have to be directly from you. God put their blood in you when you chose to be their Dad. It runs through the course of your veins. That my sweet husband is what a Daddy is all about.
None of us are perfect. Try...that is all you have to do is try.
Children need to know that they are special in a healthy way. They need love, food, sunshine, fun, and above all....they need you. They don't care about the stuff..(of course they tell you they do!!) Deep down..that is not what will make them into the human beings they are destined to be. Be a Dad....and be damn proud of it!!! Happy Daddy's Day!!!!