Fathers have an important responsibility in the upbringing of their children. The presence or absence of a father can influence who a child becomes, and the effects can be positive or negative. An absent or abusive father can generate feelings of anger, betrayal, and distrust in their children which could lead to aggression, disrespect, poor choices, and lifelong consequences. On the other hand, a father who is a positive role model and actively participates in the raising of his children will be more likely to encourage love, trust, faith, honesty, and moral decision making. Fortunately, my kids’ father belongs to the latter category.
It was nearly five years after we married that our family started growing. My husband and I worked opposite shifts at that time, because we didn’t have relatives nearby to assist with childcare. I had six weeks of maternity leave to be home with our daughter and—nearly two years later—our son. Following each of those six week periods came the true test of commitment. Brian and I swapped the kids, car seats, and diaper bags from my car to his after he finished his job and I headed to mine. He had dad-duty until I returned home at midnight. Dinner, diapers, bathing, and bedtime became the nightly routine for him. After a few years of this schedule, we moved closer to family.
My husband spent time teaching and encouraging our kids as they grew into young adults. From family camping and fishing trips to attending sports practices and games, Brian was there with me to support their efforts. He also taught the kids about a strong work ethic while he balanced his job, an apprenticeship, and home remodeling a few years ago. When homework help is needed, both of us assist with math and science. (With English homework, however, he volunteers me without a second thought!) He’s very good at brainstorming solutions with the kids to help navigate the stormy seas of adolescence, and we’re a united front when it comes to discipline. When the kids request to either have or do something he asks, “What did your mother say?” 🙂
Our kids have become compassionate, hard-working, honest, and respectful, and I believe that having such an awesome father made them who they are. I thank God for bringing Brian into my life over twenty years ago. Not only has he been a positive influence on our children, but he has made me a better person. I hope that other men can step up in the way he has. The children of today are our leaders of tomorrow. We need to provide them with support and opportunities so they will be successful now and in the future.