If I were a Dad raising a Daughter …
Let’s start with a huge reveal, I am a Mom of two men – clearly not a Dad raising a daughter. So what is the point you ask with your internal voice? A few weeks ago as I was preparing in advance for my June 17th radio/podcast show, Coach, Couch and Coffee Radio, I realized it airs the day after Father’s Day.
I went into deep ponderment. Who could I have on my show? I just had to capitalize on this holiday. I started my research.
First, I thought about my “Dad” clients. Maybe they could guest spot sharing how they balance a wellness lifestyle within their family. I have but a few on my books right now, and they would most likely be like, eh, neh, bleh – translation “not so interested.” And, frankly, I was looking for someone who still had children at home. None of them do.
My thoughts then drifted to my own stepfather. Maybe I could have him on the show and talk about his sheer joy in witnessing me blossom, but quickly ruled that out as he took over when I was 21. Poor guy! And how could I possibly risk him telling my followers I engineer the largest Crazy Train on the tracks. Bahaha.
I pondered a few more days. Then it came to me. Our girls today are totally screwed. Society is nailing our girls to the you-are-not-good-enough cross every hour of every single day. I then thought who is raising a girl in real time that is taking a stance to make her the biggest bad a** boss on the planet? Who is raising a daughter he challenges to screech her own opinions from mountain tops to prep her to share her uniquely developing curves when they come along to tell boys to screw off if they cross even slightly into her lane unwanted to dress as Spider Man or a Disney Princess all in the same hour?
And I came to decision – it just had to be my buddy, Rob Bardunias. Yup, there is a guy out there. And he is happily married. And he is an active member in society. And he wasn’t raised with sisters, but actually with three brothers. And he travels several days a week for business. And still he can write the book titled “My six-year old daughter is a Queen – just ask her, Beotches.” Okay, so I titled the book.
I met Rob via his wife, Kathleen, four years ago. And this couple actually still likes each other after almost two decades together. And, yes, I am sure liking the woman you bred a child with is pretty helpful when it comes to being a Rock Star Dad, but well ya – but ya well not really. No matter your situation, Dads, you still need to take responsibility, stop blaming your ex if you have one, your bank account if you have a balance or not, and start recognizing it doesn’t matter if you are as different as a donkey or an elephant voting in this country – you still have a duty to raise that daughter to expect a life she deserves and more. A daughter that will demand she makes the same pay as any man, woman or ape out there with the same credentials. A daughter that will be a truck driver or a lawyer like her mom and maybe even an actress or mason all in the same year. Who gives a rat’s…anyway.
Let’s be clear, being a GREAT DAD doesn’t come with ease. It doesn’t come with parading through the door with cupcakes? and presents ? every Thursday night after being out of town three days a week for the last three months. You need to be firm. Create solid rules. Talk firmly, but respectfully. Teach with and without words. Lead by example even if you aren’t in the same country. Be prepared to let down the Berlin walls that surround your masculine heart whether you were treated like crap as a teen by your dad or not – show her a man is vulnerable and emotional and can be there for her all the same. So, yes, being the Dad she needs is work.
But you know what Rob does do effortlessly…he loves her unconditionally, limitlessly, unselfishly and every single place he goes he plops up Alexandra’s giraffe and takes a picture to show her she is with him. And man has that sucker traveled. (Unicorn) Giraffe (yes, I noticed she is also a Unicorn…PS: Alex, I have a Unicorn Lion) isn’t fond of one particular airline though…shhhh.
My college professor once told me that children today are who they are or who they aren’t based on the job their father did or didn’t do. And if that is true, Rob, I wish I could select one million copies on a huge Xerox machine and duplicate you into the world. The Universe needs more dads like you.