Fathers, many that I observed, put great energy into meeting family needs. Some of these fathers have little nurturing education or lack support and struggle to meet their offspring’s needs. These fathers educate themselves on nurturing topics while working full-time and attempt to nurture their offspring the best they can. Their unique nurturing gives their offspring enriched experiences. The result for pop is fatigue and an increased struggle to meet parenting demands. Praise goes to these pooped pops:
-military dads who often parent long distance and must work hard to coördinate communication with their child’s mother, guardian, or other care giver.
-single full custody dads try to fulfill mom and pop roles; they, like single moms, balance their lives between work, child care, and self-care.
-single part-custody dads may not be able to see their children regularly but I know some that check in with their kids daily via Skype, texting, phone calls, and e-mails. They try to go to sports events or dance classes, they try to find out what is going on in school and volunteer if they can.
married dads (step, part/full custody, traditional) have many of the same challenges as other dads in balancing their parenting with elements that support the parenting-self care and jobs.
Pooped Pops can:
1. Have a bedtime routine that includes relaxing and calming even if you live alone most of the time. Read, do crossword puzzles, listen to music–TV does not help sleep, it can actually hinder it.
2. Engage in social activities with other dads/parents.
3. Make time to play with your child.
4. If you don’t know much about nutrition or the new math curriculum do research and ask questions!
5. Take responsibility for all your actions and decisions and the consequences that come with them every day and . . .
6. Forgive yourself when you fall short every night. Tomorrow is another day.
7. Engage in spiritual practice including prayer, meditation, or other soul enrichment activities whether they are religious or not (football or yoga for example).
8. Physical Activity- moving your body helps you sleep better and deal with stress.
May you thrive in your fathering and may we all praise the pops who try to make this a better world.