I’ve been a “Girl Dad” since my first child was born. This term previously took off because celebrities were able to go viral with it. While I appreciate being in the “club”, it’s not something we do. It’s something we are. Thank you Kobe, The Rock, and others. I’m happy to be on the same level as you in this station of life.
Recently I’ve also come across a few articles that seem to be more slanted towards the “Girl Power” patriots out there who feel the “Girl Dad” moniker is actually degrading for women. You’re kidding me right? Get over yourself. Maybe it IS a comparison to our proximity to women but slanting it in a negative fashion is a load of crap. Hell, I’ll even give you Boy Mom.
Regardless of your position on gender assignment, sexual preference, or any of the modern gender specific topics, being a girl dad is a fact of life. There isn’t anything wrong with that unless you like taking joy from someone else.
Whether you like it or not, 99% of girl dads grew up as males not understanding how the differences in how we operate at our core can affect our daily lives or the different challenges we face. This is the challenge. And no, not every boy was raised to love sports, or hunting, or cars, or any other preferred stereotype that even the girl power warriors like to place on us.
For the record, I don’t have an issue with girl power at all. Frankly, I think it’s awesome and a great source of motivation and pride. It’s no different than the motivation to be a great man when we grow up. Unfortunately, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander in today’s world.
However, I do have an issue with it being used in the context of telling me that I can’t be proud of being able to learn how to operate differently because I was blessed to have a daughter ahead of my son. Or saying that it’s an “awkward social gesture”. Honestly, it makes me smile when my daughter doesn’t take it easy on girls when they choose to participate in male dominated sports like football. She’s made the decision to go out there and knew the risks. Treat her like a teammate, not the girl on the team.
To be clear, it’s not something that’s supposed to be about women’s empowerment. I’m not even sure how that is implied. Again, I don’t have an issue with women’s empowerment. And luckily I have a daughter that’s made me understand what that even means. Because without being a girl dad in the first place, I wouldn’t be able to have even second hand experience in this subject. Raising a girl and raising a boy ARE 2 different things regardless of how you want to break down the gender barrier.
Being a girl dad is definitely something we can be proud of regardless of what the overthinkers or social justice warriors say. As a girl dad, you get to set aside your understanding of life as it was. Yes, you do the same to a certain degree when you have a son. But, we understand what it’s like to be a boy. Nothing can prepare you for what’s coming. You might have a little understanding if you grew up with younger sisters.
Boys are easy. We do the same thing our dads did with us. Hold the flash light. No, not like that, like this. Dammit, I said LIKE THIS! Or, rub some dirt in it. It’ll only hurt till the pain goes away. Don’t let them see you cry. Pretend that branch is the handle and flush it. If you’re going to pee in the yard, at least face away from the road…
Girls are somewhat alien to us at first. Yes, we have just enough of an understanding of women to get to the point where we have a child in the first place. Unless it comes as an early mistake, it can take 20 or 30 years to gain that level of understanding for us. Then you have 9 months to prepare for another breathing creature that you’re responsible for. Then all the sudden the world turns pink and you’re excited and scared as hell because you’re going to screw it up. And yes, you will, sometimes.
The difference is responding and learning from it. Yes, it’s cute to have a tea party and play with dolls for the first time in our lives. And, it sucks when we can’t even do that right at first. Talk about feeling worthless. Moms look forward to dressing up their children for dances. As dad’s, it doesn’t come naturally. We resisted that growing up. Now, you’re in a position where you need to be supportive. And not in a fake way, they can smell the fake on your shirt like a shark smells blood in the water.
The difference is the energy that you can’t explain. It’s a different heart rate and weird feeling in your stomach when you’re proud of your daughter. It’s much more silently emotional. And if you happen to miss that you’re supposed to be proud, the disappointment in yourself hits differently. Then you have to wrap your brain around how to make it better.
Dance, cheerleading, etc… All new things we need to learn. These are the obvious ones. How to be the one they lean on to fix everything and build things. Things you never even knew existed. And you don’t question it. You just do it because a little girl asked you to.
Then there are the teenage years. This is when things get tougher. Not only are we completely unprepared for this, reading about how to prepare only makes it worse. So, we wing it and it’s pretty scary. I’m not even going to get into love interests. They aren’t quite as scary as dealing with the emotional roller coaster and friend issues.
At the end of the day, being a girl dad is definitely something to be proud of. Not because we’re trying to use it as a means to support women. We ARE allowed to support Dads as well. This is certainly the website to be able to do that. It’s the reason I created this site. They “WHY”. This is something we all share because we want to be the best fathers we can be. And whether our daughters know it or not, they help shape us into being more well rounded men and grandfathers. No one wants to leave a legacy of being just an OK father. Without our daughters, we run the risk of being just that.
Girl dad’s aren’t built different right off the rip. We are changed through our lives to become better versions of ourselves. Call us selfish for learning from our children and being proud of it. But, celebrate it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.