Life can be an isolating experience, especially when you go through periods of struggle and you think you’re the only one around who has to put on a happy face. It is in these times when we need others most, and, at least for me, it’s been the hardest time to reach out for help.
I had coffee with a friend of mine today. He is my age and has a young daughter. We are trying to reconnect since we are now living in the same town for the first time in years. During our discussion, he mentioned that his parents are going through some tough times. It’s not my place to put their business out there, so that’s all I will say on the matter.
It was this talk about his parents that I want to discuss. His parents are in their 60s and may be in need of some support, or are they too old? Do you ever NOT need support as parents? In order to answer this you need to ask yourself if you think you are ever done raising your own kids. Now, the kind of parental support I talking about is not just the how-tos of child-rearing, though it may start that way. The kind of support I’m thinking of is the support we ALL need but don’t always have. It’s the kind of support that won’t tell you you’re right when you’re clearly wrong. It’s the kind of support that is not always on your side, or always tells you what you want to hear, but will hold you accountable to become the person you are meant to be.
I don’t know what you would call, or label this kind of support, but I knew that I wanted and needed it. I tried once to get it, but all the guys I wanted to connect with we’re busy being engaged dads, loving husbands, and hardworking providers. It was difficult to get connected to them. I wanted to have a group of “my guys”, but I couldn’t get it to work out.
This is what sparked the beginning of ManvDadhood.com. I thought I could get some frustrations out through blogging, but it turned out to be a greatly therapeutic activity, and I’ve been able to connect to some great people. Then we come to DADuary 2012 with the idea of creating support systems for men and dads. But, I don’t know how to create these supports, or how they should look for guys. We are not natural networkers, and we can help one another build STUFF, but not always build EACHOTHER.