Finding The Father Figure!

MY VIEWS, PARENTING | | June 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm

I did not like my father. There I said it. I know it is Father’s Day so sentimentality towards dad and fatherhood is booming. But it is true. My dad was not likable, and especially not by me. He had an encyclopedia worth of qualities and habits that made me fear and disrespect him. My mom on the other hand was my hero. I then decided that a girl, or anyone for that matter did not really need a father in their life. Hitting 13 my dad passed away and I felt even more convinced that my life was better off, trust me on this. I felt I was doing fine, although I had a cynical view dads and sometimes men in general.

Then I met my sweetheart. And then I met his dad. Their relationship made me realize although I did not miss my dad, I did miss having a dad. I was jealous of all the affection I missed. I got to experience snippets as my wonderful husband shared his dad with me. Then he died, my husband’s dad that is. I forgot all about the whole daddy drama, until I fell pregnant.

I thought I could do it all, I mean I knew I could. The only issue was darling dearest wanted to be a hands-on dad. I had no idea how to deal with his “meddling” ways. I mean he wanted to be a part of everything. The fact that we had a baby girl did not help. He was putty in her hands. I used to joke that the kids would be sitting on the couch and I would be maid-like serving them. Two girls in tow and it is not so far from there. At any point during the night he would unquestionably answer any cry that came from them. At times I felt like I was being thrown out of the loop like spoiled milk, but I did not mind.

I took his parenting for what it was and never gave it a passing thought until I watched families with dads uninvolved. I began to fall in love with my husband all over again. It may have taken a generation but I found the perfect father figure.


  1. 1

    OK, you did it, you made me tear all up. Having just lost my father this spring, verging upon my first Fathers Day without him, I’m reading all the “dad posts” out there. Yours is really lovely. I’ve had friends with wonderful fathers and awful ones, heard every kind of story that can be told, and it’s always intense. I’m so happy for you that you can watch your girls growing up with a wonderful involved loving father. My Dad was a mixed bag, but on the whole, loving and supportive and we certainly had a good strong relationship, though at the end it was reversed and I was his caretaker. If you want to read it, here’s my eulogy for my Dad, the photographer Jim Steinhardt: And happy Fathers Day to your family.

  2. 2

    How wonderful that you found the perfect father-figure in the father of your children. That’s exactly the place you want to find him.

    (Btw, I didn’t get along with my father either.)

  3. 3
    holly fink says:

    I can relate to this all too well but I am not comfortable sharing my feelings about my own father online on my blog. My dad is still alive, although he no longer goes online so I don’t have to worry about him seeing this or anything written about him.
    I have to call him tomorrow morning to wish him happy father’s day and I will feel very hypocritical when I have to do so. I hate looking for cards that say happy father’s day to the best father in the world. He is and was not any of these things. I, too, have a great husband and I love his own father dearly. I don’t miss my father. He really is no longer a part of my life, but I do miss parts of the man he once was. He was not a good father but he did the best he could. My mother left him 5 years ago after spending a harrowing 40 years as his partner. My heart now belongs to her.

  4. 4

    Niri – I love that you are brave enough to write this….so many people harbor strong (and not happy) feelings towards family but are unwilling to say it. You putting it down on paper will make it ok for someone else to say it aloud as well. I’m sorry you didn’t have a father who treated you kindly and loved you as he should have….but I love that you have found a man who is proving to you every day just how wonderful that relationship can be! xoxo

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    Angela says:

    I can relate to this. I grew to accept my father’s tyranny because rebelling never ended well. I’m not strong person and prefer to avoid conflict as much as possible. For him, it has always been “I’m big, you’re small. I’m right, you’re wrong”. It wasn’t limited to within the family, he lacked respect for pretty much everyone. Many friends of mine simply say “oh, come on. He’s your dad and that’s what dads do” and “give him a chance!”. But I guess they can never fully comprehend my situation when they experienced more ideal paternal relationships. I gave up trying to prove my worth to him since I was never told “good job” when I had high achievements but instead “that was expected” was slapped in my face every single time.

  6. 6

    Mommy Niri
    It must have taken courage to be so honest
    i admire you for it !!
    See u at EVO

  7. 7
    Carissa says:

    Wow.. reading up on the Niri posts…
    And yeah I have yet to really WRITE a father post as my Dad was very hard… most of my life, and now more recently.. he’s much less hard?? Maybe he is doing a man version of menopause, and calming down? I don’t know. He’s just a much better Grandpa than father. Maybe it’s the generation? Wonder if I’m brave enough to really write my thoughts… nope. I’m not.

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