This particular billboard is displayed in my town, and it always gets my attention when I drive by. So I decided to blog my thoughts since that’s what bloggers do.
Look, I think Fatherhood.gov is an important project and has some great family resources. There is a lot of great information and wonderful programs mentioned on that website. My complaint is specifically about the take time to be a dad today billboards, and about the “reminders” for fathers to be dads. The message and takeaway of these take time to be a dad commercial and billboards convey that we have a serious problem with absentee dads.
It saddens me that we live in a world where men need to be reminded to be dads. It breaks my heart that we live in a society filled with the kind of people that would father a child and then disappear. That is one extreme, yes, but we do have a lot of single moms where the father is not involved in the child’s life at all. Then there are the situations where the father is around but works so much (or just does not come home often) that he never sees his children and family. Being a parent is the single most important job someone can have, mother or father – both need to realize this and do right by their children.
It shocks me every time people show surprise at how active my husband has been in our child’s life. That with his schedule of working four 10-hour days, he was the one able to take our baby to every weekly physical therapy appointment and DOC band check-up when he was just a wee little one. I certainly couldn’t – I worked full time and had just come off maternity leave so had zero time off. So I am to understand that kind of involvement is as rare as a magical unicorn? Because it isn’t – shouldn’t be at least.
I guess based on this message, I am very grateful to have my wonderful husband and father to my child, and to have been raised by my own great dad as well. Apparently, that is just not the norm, and that makes me sad. It makes me sad for society as a whole, and it makes me sad for the message we are sending our own children about the world around them. Fathers shouldn’t have to be reminded to take the time to be dads, just as mothers shouldn’t have to be reminded the same. Taking time to nurture our children is something that should be immediately engrained in our minds from the moment we become parents.
Have you seen these be a dad commercial billboards? What do you think?