This may come off as an angry post. That’s good because I am a little torqued right now, I’ll be honest.
Guys, it’s time to man up. Seriously.
I’m convinced that America (possibly the world?) is facing a parenting epidemic. More and more dads are bailing on their responsibilities of being a parent. Where do you guys get off thinking that you can bring a child into the world and not be involved in that child’s life?
Now, I’m not just talking about the typical definition that most of us have of a deadbeat dad. You know, boy meets, girl, boy sleeps with girl, girl gets pregnant, boy bolts faster than my 9 year old on a sugar high. That’s the “easy” definition of a deadbeat dad and one that everyone knows. Let me introduce you to my more accurate definition of exactly what it means to be a deadbeat.
A Real Definition of a Deadbeat Dad
Part of the epidemic that America’s children are facing is certainly due to the dads that simply disappear from their lives. It happens every day and, if I could grab them by the scruff and smack ‘em, I would. But there’s another part of this problem I’m pretty sure we all see but we may just not be conscious of it or it hasn’t registered for us yet.
I’m talking about the parent that sticks around but isn’t really ‘present’. My definition of a deadbeat dad would include the dads that are the pretenders too, and not just the ones that jump ship and leave. If you’re spending more time at work, or on the golf course or washing your car, you may be a deadbeat dad as well. If you’re around, but not really involved then you’re a deadbeat. If you think it’s your job to be the breadwinner and leave all that “parenting garbage” to your wife, guess what?
Yep. Here’s your sign.
So what do you say guys? If you’re marginally involved as parent, why not consider doing something different like manning up and being a real dad? There is a huge difference between being a dad and being a father and way too many guys are dropping the ball. It’s up to each of us, as men, to stand up and help parent our children. If we don’t, we have no one to blame when the value of a dad has been completely depleted.
The Few, The Proud, The Step (Up) Parents
Ok, since I’m pretty sure that this post won’t be enough to change the minds of the majority of the douches out there that will decide (yes, it’s most often a decision) to be deadbeat dads, I have to give some props to the steps out there.
The stepparents, that is.
Most of us probably have some difficulty comprehending that someone could simply abandon a child, often without even looking back or thinking twice. But let’s approach this from a man’s perspective for just a moment. We’re men, after all, right? Ok, so say you’re a man and you’re making the decision to be a deadbeat. Isn’t there some (I’d argue quite a bit) incentive to stick around just at the notion that some other man is going to step up and be the man that you chose not to be?
Guys, you know it’s going to happen. There’s a man out there that’s willing to clean up after the mess you made and be a real dad to that child of yours.
There is. I promise.
If the idea that some other (real) man is willing to step up and step in for you and be a parent to a child that’s not even theirs isn’t enough of an incentive to be involved then, honestly, what does that say about the type of man you are anyway?
Stepparents rock every single day if you ask me. And they get a pretty bum rap in the process, too. If parenting is one of the toughest jobs anyone can ever have, then step parenting is one of the toughest most under-appreciated. I think a thank you is in order.
Thank you, Stepparents!