Dad’s as strong as an ox
Dad’s is as tough as steel
Dad’s as brave as a lion
Dad’s as helpful as Google
Dad’s as smart as a computer
Dad’s as sneaky as a leprechaun
Dad’s as jolly as Santa
Dad’s as fast as sound
Dad’s as funny as a comedy show
Dad’s as supportive as a loyal dog
(Kachi. N, 2014)
From this poem, there are so many expectations on a father in every area of life, starting from his family. He is expected to be strong even when he is struggling or weak. He is expected to be fearless. He is expected to be very helpful even when no one taught him how to help. He is expected to be a real dad to his children even when no male parented him. He is expected to be an embodiment of wisdom, joyous even when he has just lost his job; be a source of laughter for his family even when he cannot pay his family’s rent! You are expected to be a ‘super dad’ even when no one taught you how to be a dad.
The role of a father in a child’s life is the first contact a child makes with a male in his or her life. If you did not have this opportunity, please note that you cannot give what you don’t have. Fatherhood does not come by age! Was your father physically present but not “really present”. If you check within you and you don’t have what it takes to play the role of a father, step out of your comfort zone and get the support you need. Don’t pretend you a great dad when you know within you that this role is a struggle for you. Strip yourself of the shame you carry, it is time to re-parent yourself and get the help you need. It takes work to be a faithful father, it is not too late. Get a therapist plus a ‘dad’ or a mentor for yourself. All the best in your healing journey!
Nwoke, O. (2014). Kachi’s collections: A compilation of poems. Unpublished manuscript.