Dads come in all shapes, colours and sizes. Some are tall; some are small; some may be more round in stature, while others may be more lean. So why is it that sometimes we all wish dads would be something that they are incapable of being? The Perfect Dad.
Hollywood hasn't done us any favours in this regard. The dads depicted on television and in the movies are usually one of two types of extremes - negligent (Homer Simpson) or hyper-active (Liam Neeson in the Taken films). As we soak in the messages we are receiving about what a dad should or could be like, we begin to compare our own dad to what we've experience in the realm of conjured fantasy we call entertainment and we are often left uttering the phrase: I wish my dad was more like...
What if we shifted our focus away from the impossible search of the perfect dad and instead embraced the simple concept of the good-enough dad?
I realize the words "good-enough" scare some folks. Some people see them and interpret that there is a lack of effort being given to a particular task. Others may hear "good-enough" and understand that what is being shared is no longer a priority.
Let's you and I commit to something here. Call it a restoration of language. Good means just that, good. And enough tends to mean full, or a limit of some kind. So a good-enough dad is a dad that is full and good. This full and good type of dad is unique, because every person contains a different proportion of being full. For some dads a full experience is being incredibly intentional in spending time with their children through a variety of ways. For other dads, being full is working multiple jobs to provide for their families. What I'm saying here is that good-enough becomes more a relative term than an absolute standard for all dads to achieve.
When we take our focus off the idea that dads can be perfect, and instead allow them to be who they have been created to be by pursuing a good-enough dad like strategy, I wonder if we would be able to celebrate who the dads in our lives are instead of who these dads aren't a little more intentionally?
I don't pretend to know your story at all. Maybe your personal experience with your dad hasn't been the greatest. It's true that our experiences with the people in our lives do shape us, but they do not have to define us. Can you celebrate your dad (remember, there are lots of different types of dads) for being good-enough, or are you still holding out for the perfect dad experience?
If you are a dad, take time to be the best version of you. This will mean something different for every single dad on the planet. Discover how you are wired, lean into your uniqueness and allow who you are to help shape those around you in a positive way.
There are all different kinds of dads out there and we need them all. Be you. Because you is awesome.