According to my 5 year old, and bear with me here, it’s someone who is “kind, funny, sometimes sad and sometimes angry…” At this point I couldn’t decide if he was describing a pretty well-balanced human being or very literally his own dad.
I’d probably say (if pushed) that I’m a reasonably good mum, an independent one all the same, but I try my best.
doesn’t parenthood give you such a warm fuzzy feeling…?!
Much as it pains me to say I have to admit my 5 year old son is equally independent (already!). I choose this adjective over the potentially more accurate descriptive words I could use. In short, this boy of mine keeps me on my toes.
He also feels he knows way more than me, has made it his ‘job’ to look after me and in equal measure chastise me at every turn. He has an answer and/or facial expression for every request I could ever possibly make. I can’t help but feel that I’ve acquired a teenager prematurely. Doesn’t parenthood give you such a warm fuzzy feeling…?!
I have become acutely aware of the role a father plays within their children’s lives within the last 4 ½ years. This is not just an aside of becoming a parent myself but more the reality of having single parenthood thrust upon me.
My role as a mum has been two fold, trying to encompass the skills of both a mum and a dad into day-to-day life, which definitely has its challenges. But as such I have learnt new skills, faced hurdles I would previously have shied away from, and have learnt to balance my mood and frame of mind beyond belief!
This experience has also made me amazingly appreciative of those around me and as such I am lucky enough to have 3 great men in my life in the form of my grandad, dad and brother. Granted I’m a little biased but these 3 are what I’d deem to be prime examples of good dads. They are a constant source of inspiration to me and have been a lifelong support network over the years but more so in recent times when I have needed them most.
We have shared tears of laughter and more recently tears of sadness, we have had adventures, 4-generation family holidays, testing times and celebrations but fundamentally we have all worked at maintaining the relationships we have which is a testament to our strength.
I know I am capable of doing the job single-handedly but do I want to?
As a direct result of these experiences it has become incredibly important to me that my son benefits from having both a mum and a dad in his life. I know I am capable of doing the job single-handedly but do I want to? Not really, no.
Retaining some sort of a relationship with my son’s father has been paramount to my son’s world. And, in the grand scheme of things, that’s what’s most important.
In the not too distant future my 5 year old will be older and wiser and probably no less independent. I look forward to watching his ascent into adulthood surrounded by the amazing men he’s fortunate to have in his life. I know that he’ll benefit from their; knowledge, work ethic, faith, loyalties, self-deprecating sense of humour and realism. As a mum what more could I ask for?
Whether you are a dad by name or a dad by blood always remember you are doing better than you realise and doing more than you think.
In life they say you can choose your friends but not your family… But all in all I happen to think we did alright.
By Nicki Cook