As a father to a little one and a husband to my beautiful wife, the phrase “providing for your family” has a very different meaning now then what it was several decades ago.
Providing for your family is now more than just financially. Your time, your attention, your mental awareness is also very important for you to provide. If you think this is a tall order, you bet it is. You know who has perfected this technique? Your wife.
For multiple generations, mothers have been tasked with child care while the fathers are out going to earn an income for the family. With the most recent cultural shift that came with milennial parents, the focus and proactiveness that fathers are taking is incredible. From spending more time with their kids to even taking on the stay-at-home parent role, more and more people are aware of this and are ready to stand by it.
Take It Step By Step
If you were brought up in a Male-centric family when you were young, chances are you may had thought that that was how a family should be. A father that goes out to work for the day to earn an income for the family. The mother may or may not be a stay-at-home parent looking after the kids, cleaning the house, and making dinner so that when the father comes home, there will be food on the table waiting.
That would only be possible with the scenario that occurred with the previous generation (eg. low cost of housing, a more affordable post-secondary tuition cost, and higher chance to find work related to your post-graduation field of study)
As each new generation gets introducted, newer and newer movements and lifestyles are adapted. Our generation, the millennials, is now taking that step-by-step approach of being more involved with the parenting aspects. I’m glad to be part of this parenting movement, it’s a healthy start to a more happier and balanced family dynamic.
Ask For Feedback
Masculinity does not mean alone.
Masculinity is acknowledging you do have times you need help and then actually ask for help!
I have to admit to you that i’m not the best at being a husband and a dad. Sure, I can:
- Clean the house,
- Wash the dishes,
- Take out the trash,
- Drive the family around to places,
- Buy things that they like,
- Take care of the morning routine with my daughter, letting my wife sleep more,
- Be able to cook some simple meals to cover, if my wife isn’t feeling well,
- Change my daughter’s diapers,
- Wash my daughter’s diapers,
- Spend quality family time with my wife and daughter
But the list can also go on with the things I can’t do or do very poorly:
- Taking on too many tasks at once,
- Having a lesser than wanted amount of sleep because of trying to take on too many tasks at once.
- Not being vocal about certain things, such as when situations go south,
- Not able to say “No” as frequent as I would like,
My advise to myself is to ask for help when providing for the family. Providing for the family isn’t a task only for the person who brings home the money. Everyone has a role in this and so get everyone involved. When I mean everyone, I mean even your children.
Don’t Neglect Anyone
Like I said in my earlier point, everyone in the family has a role in providing for the family. Everyone maybe doing something slightly different, but the end goal is the same, “Let’s have a happier family”.
Your children are a part of your family, why shouldn’t they be involved in contributing to the family? You might think that they are too young to know or not able to effectively make the right choices for the family. Now that is where you are quite wrong.
Your child(ren) are people who just came into this world, who hasn’t been impacted by society’s norms. Children are excellent in giving you their honest opinion and always question your method of doing things. You gotta ask yourself, can you explain what your doing to your child? Maybe there is an easier process.
Here’s something you can try the next time you have a family sit-down discussion. Bring everyone to the table and talk, when it is your child’s turn to speak, make sure you are fully attentive to everything they are talking about. You will be suprised at the ideas they have.
Know That You Won’t Have As Much Free Time As Your Before
When you and your significant other decided that it was a good time to bring/adopt a child into your life, one of the “side-effects” of that is that you will have less time for each other and for yourself.
That new family member will need all of the time, attention and love dedication from you and that really takes a large chunk of your time away.
As an example, one of my acquantices just recently had their second child. The father actually casually mentions how much time he has lost when the second child came to life. How he isn’t able to do the things that he was able to do in the past, like play video games or hang out with his buddies. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that why did you have your second child, let alone your first child with such a terrible mentality. With his mentality, he is actually going to be a bad influence and father figure for his children in the future.
You, as a father-to-be, would have had ample time to prepare (8-9 months while your significant other was pregnant, or had a full plan prior to adapting that child. That way, you have a plan on how your day would go.
As the generation and mindset shifts, parenting styles are often adapted to fit that current living environment. But one thing that never changes, is that parenting is at its best when both parents are involved and the rules of parenting are changing. There is no set rules or parenting roles that a parent falls into, every parent will be helping to provide for the family in more than 1 way.
Do you also see this change in the meaning, “To Provide For the Family”? Let discuss in the comments below.