My take on family issues in stake. Copyright 2015 Miguel Omaña.

What is to be a father?

By Miguel Omaña.

Now that the whole Father’s Day upheaval has settled down we can really ponder with clarity of mind what a father is. Not that we are not able of talking about it days before or during our day (me being also a father), I’ve found things become more real and steady after such celebrations, very much like New Year’s.

So what is to be a father?

Perhaps the answer I’ve come up with may be so simplistic and perhaps bland. Still, after my mind has gone over it several times and based on personal experiences (good and bad) this is what I consider it to be. A father is one that’s there, no matter what.

Pretty broad definition, huh? Well, I thought so at first. But you see, when you think of it, we’re all sure what a mother is — one that brings into life her child, feeds him/her, and the such. This applies to adopting moms, or even gay couples — you gotta grant me there’s a mommy figure. Nowadays many moms work or earn money, so that 1950’s idea of mommy at home and daddy at work is not only undoable but preposterous for many out there.

We need good fathers in a time where society has grieved and suffered too much.

But the concept of what is a father can be sketchy at best. In an era of high divorce rates and destroyed families, we better come up with a good idea of what a father should be. We need this, in a society that’s seeing too much grief and pain because of a bad family environment — a problem not only endemic to inner city communities but also to suburban areas.
There are dads that go the extra mile, and those that don’t. Don’t mind the latter.

A father is one that’s there, no matter what. This means that someone (anyone) that stays along their kids, her partner’s needs, and present in family issues is a father. I may be criticized for being to lose on such an important figure of a family, but believe me — for a man to do that is way too much in these days were fathers are prone to split away and never look back. There are dads that go the extra mile, and that’s worthy of note. But… and here’s the ugly but… many dads don’t tend fully commit to a family they formed in the first place, to a partner they chose to begin with, in a life they knew they were getting into.

The just ones pay as sinners.

Here we have a saying that says “Justos pagan por pecadores” roughly translated as “the just ones pay as sinners”. These means just because fathers in general have a bad rap it doesn’t mean all dads are spineless weasels that don’t care about their family well-being. Newsflash, there are good dads out there, more that you can imagine. And still, the bad apples may outweight what we good dads may be trying.

Dad, start from the little details. No biggie.

Being there for your family doesn’t only mean physically but also in state of mind. One that is worried about how your little girl is doing in Math, or when the new movie your wife wanted to see comes out. Details, people! Such details count in a life of a family. Yes, there are also bills to pay, errors to mend, and bad habits to control. But what if we start from details only to build up to the bigger issues?

Common ground on what a father should be.

I’m not religious, I’m not left or right winged, but I have found based on personal experiences there is a common ground on what a father should be. Don’t worry what a father should not be, focus on what a dad can do to make a better life for their kids and wife/partner.

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