Apologies Fathers Do Not Receive
Let me first apologize to fathers who have never received an apology that is due, for not being able to step into the shoes, only they can fill. This apology extends to the extent of exposing the fact that due to many factors, including patriarchy, their feelings are invalidated, over and over again because ''men don't cry''.
I apologize to fathers for the court systems being biased when it comes to thinking that even if a father is in full capability of caring for his child and there is no history of domestic violence, they can be told that they are not ''as needed'' as their child or children's mother (in the context of heterosexual relationships).
I apologize to fathers who are doing what they can to instill into their children an open line of communication where it is OK to express emotions normally saved for ''women''; who are then told that they are weak because society cannot fathom that a man, let alone a father, can have nurturing qualities.
It would seem that a father is only allowed to: provide, play with his kids, discipline them when needed and that is that.
There are many other apologies I could list, but this would require those outside of the father ''hood'' to hear out fathers when they feel dismissed in matters they should absolutely be validated and supported.
We will have this conversation another time, but I could not bring myself to begin praising these kings, without acknowledging the fact that there is a lot of harm done to fatherhood, and let's not forget black fatherhood, that needs to be rectified by admitting our faults, and then doing ''the work'' so that not only the children benefit from these interactions, but the fathers themselves can actually feel supported and loved as we say we love them.
Despite my traumatic unhealthy relationship with my own ''father'', I am committed to continuously do ''the work'' to unpack what needs to be left behind, so that the fathers in my community and all around the world really, are able to know that ''the village'' has their backs. Remember, it truly takes a village to raise children regardless of your background, and circumstances.
Let us bless you with this acknowledgement, this apology but also with this commitment to listen to you. Do not allow us to interrupt you when you share your ''feelings''. Let us hug you and kiss you, because sometimes you are the ones who need to be loved as you've shown us. Let us spoil you and ask you if you've been sleeping lately and if you need to go to the doctor. We want you to be as healthy as possible. We do not need you to be ''strong'' all the time, we want you to be vulnerable, so that we may provide you with a customized ''fatherhood'' experience you are living.
We also acknowledge that you carry many roles, we want you to follow your wildest dreams, the same way you push us to follow ours. While we need you, the entire community needs you. However, we want you to be OK, we want your mental health to be nurtured and treated if needed. We desperately want you in our lives because not having you is a devastation not only to us, but to our entire communities. We still need you so much in our adulthood.
I challenge us all to reach out to fathers in our immediate families but also our lives and ask: How can I support you in your journey through fatherhood? This is a safe place, what do you need right now?
I feel like doing this regularly throughout the year, might actually help us have a deeper insight into what fathers truly need. Let's really listen, this time.
Happy Father's Day!
Our model, who happens to be an amazing Father, is currently wearing our Military Green Hoodie, in Medium size. You can click here to get yours or other items.
Thank you for your support.
À La Safi.