Is your Father, Husband, or Son manly or domesticated? If you are a Father, Husband or Son what are you? Apparently, those are the only choices, according to the founders of Father’s Day. The nation’s first celebration of Father’s Day was June 19, 1910. Many men, however, disdained the day because they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving”.
Most men appreciate a well-thought-out gift, and women are grateful when their partners contribute to running the household. Manliness is maligned when associated with machismo, though its characteristics can be positive (e.g., courage, loyalty, integrity, resiliency, personal responsibility, and sacrifice). Domestication has its benefits for both men and women and does not mean the loss of masculinity. In this day of gender fluidity it is even less important to define such strict boundaries.
As Father’s Day nears, how do you think about your father? Is/was he emotionally available and did he help out with domestic tasks, or is/was he more focused on work outside the home? Most importantly, is how he made you feel growing up. There is no one-size-fits-all right answer, just your experience. Do/did you feel loved, accepted and encouraged to be the best version of yourself? If not, there are learnings that can be applied to how you parent (or guide your nieces and nephews). Perhaps you can be the best version of yourself in regard to those you love.
As most of us know, it’s not easy being a parent. Your father has tried, in his way, to do what he can. How you respond is up to you.
“Great fathers don’t find fault. Great fathers find solutions.”