Modern Dads

Baby, Couple, Wedding Rings, Woman, Man
In not being present, in pretending I could hold at least two attentions concurrently, I betray eternity’s moment for the temporary release I feel I could have by taking a look at just a little machine at the end of my arm.
Whether it is a significant e-mail I’ve been waiting for, or some kind of message from a friend, or an acquaintance, or even a prospect, I really do need to admit that there’s always a buzz to receiving mail.
I think the earliest I can recall feeling excited about mail was when I received a postcard or a letter or even a package in brown paper wrapped together with string through the email for a pre-schooler. (There’s something about a package wrapped in brown paper and string that takes me all the way back to the 70s.)
The problem is partly about availability, about us being too accessible, but it’s also partly about craving info.
The timing of this article is poignant given that it’s Father’s Day in Australia. The Fathering Project have elevated the role of Dad significantly over the past few years. And it is normal for dads to expect to be celebrated on this one special day of the year.
However, what if as fathers we took a while to reflect on the interruptions our apparatus create?
Let’s just be honest.
Could we be as daring to think about some structure of discipline that would restore our control over the machine rather than relinquish our control to it?
I’ve done like lots of people have over the years and deleted programs on my phone. But there continue to be the text messages and e-mails that I prefer to reply in a timely fashion.
I’ve needed to be reminded occasionally to stop taking a look at my phone during family times, and I guess for me I have come to accept how fast I replace my precious family time with superfluities. It’s fortunate that my spouse can be direct . But it saddens me just how many precious family moments I’ve missed with my children. I doubt if they would have even noticed, because it’s not that big a issue, but that is just the problem; we continue to allow the technology to interfere with and at times ambush our lives. And some of the time it can be completely necessary.
So here is a message to fathers: Have you been able to be fully present with your children for the precious seconds you have them?
It appears that youth never ends for parents, but like anyone with adult kids would inform us, after that time has gone it is gone. I think I still grieve my three adult daughters having grown up. I am so glad they’re adults now, but as parents, if we are truthful, we miss them. Yet I am so proud they have their own lives. And I still have a five-year-old who is such a gift to us.
I think for me being a good dad is about refocusing daily and discovering ways of simply being present.
Fatherhood is for today. We cannot afford not to make the most of each moment, but inevitably we will waste lots of them. Let’s take advantage of as many of these moments we might otherwise waste.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *