On the lead up to the birth of my daughter, I was asked:
“You’re having a daughter? Are you disappointed?”
It was strange some assumed because of her gender this would impact how much I loved my yet to be born child.
Perhaps it was living in a working-class town, the age of the person, or old attitudes tied to having a son to carry on the family name.
What is most important is her health and happiness.
And for me I strive to be the best dad possible, everyday striving to do better and giving her the care she needs – a goal that makes the fact my child is a girl irrelevant.
Relishing my new role, I have become observant how other men approach fatherhood and how they relate to their little girl.
In my day-to-day interactions, many men undermine their own importance, taking the view it’s the partners job to raise their daughter, defaulting to the fact they are both female.
I appreciate my experience of fathers is limited to the men in my community. Living in an ex-coal mining town, the men are a tough breed, being careful to show their sensitive side. The boy is the son and heir of the family, future rugby player and all round working man.
This leaves girls somewhat cast aside, which is all wrong, there is nothing more manly, than being the protector of your little girl.
As a father to a girl we are key to her care, development and essential role models to help our daughters become good women.
You are her first impression of what a man is
There was a feeling of dread finding I was having a girl, as one day my daughter would be introducing me to some gormless boy. Five months pre-born and my thoughts were already consumed how to bust some kids balls over intentions towards my daughter.
An important development was accepting the cruelness of fathering a daughter – I am the first man in her life, yet someday she will eventually grow up and replace me with another man.
It’s a terrifying thought, one day to trust my daughter is picking the right type of man, yet it emphasises the importance of how girls need their daddy.
You are key in moulding her attitude of what a good man is and how women should be treated. This ranges for how you act around her to how you look after your wife.
By acting aloof, hands off or absent, would do nothing but show this is normal for a man, by having heavy involvement my logic is to protect my daughter from future bad decisions.
Important for her growth / Important for your growth
Being a father is the greatest role you will have in life and viewing it from the side means missing being the hero to your daughters development, it’s also an opportunity lost to make you a stronger person.
When we brought my daughter home, she cried non-stop for the first month. What a great Christmas!
It broke me, then it broke my wife. Everyday we wondered if it could get worse, until one day it got better.
My girl still has bad days, yet the strength built has made me better at handling pressure and means myself and my wife see each other in new ways, contributing to our growth as a couple.
Every minute I choose not to spend with my daughter is an opportunity lost to aid in her development, teaching good habits like reading, cleaning teeth and encouraging her to tidy her toys.
As the father you contribute to making her more human each day.
On cleaning ‘down there’…
My daughter soils her nappy once, twice, sometimes several times a day.
When this happens I don’t mess about and wait for my wife to sort out the problem. Yet there are fathers who won’t change the nappy of a girl.
It’s bizarre as some men associate the act as having sexual connotations. There is nothing wrong with doing this, you are helping your daughter meet her basic hygiene needs as she can’t do it herself!
It’s not difficult to do and means you don’t have to sit watching TV pretending you can’t smell anything, because you are afraid of touching her ‘lady parts’.
Quit bitching and clean that vag!
It’s a girl, so what?
Apart from the whole family name thing, there is just a general feeling that if a man has a girl he’s not masculine, which I would say is more likely an individuals insecurity issue.
Perhaps they dreamt of the whole boy fantasy, contributing to juniors life giving sage advice, playing football and rolling about in the dirt.
Just because you have a girl, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your life experience and you can be actively involved in their hobbies and interests.
The daddy-daughter bond
Walking through the door after work, hearing excited shouts of ‘daddy!’ and greeted with a smile in a way no one else sees – just like how I feel for her, no one touches my emotions the same way.
Men who take a step back are missing out on something special – you are her protector, her role model, her first impression of what a man is.
Enjoy your time, enjoy your special bond, the daddy-daughter relationship is something special and should be embraced because these days won’t last forever.
Remember you are fulfilling the role of the most important thing you will ever do!
This means the good times and the bad, so crawl around on the floor, throws balls around, read books in stupid voices, dance to baby shark and make her laugh pushing that pink pram across the living room.
I hope that you enjoyed this post, are you a father of a daughter? Any tips on raising girls?
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