Mothers’ Day – Part I – “How do they know?”

May 9th, 2012 by | Print

I once heard a well-known national speaker say that the father is the most important contributor to the emotional well-being of both sons and daughters.  I must say this threw me for a bit of a loop as I’ve always considered moms to be the bedrock of any family.

After a few days of pondering I came to begrudgingly agree with this somewhat controversial statement.  I didn’t come to agree because I believe men to be the superior parent or gender – rather it’s quite the opposite.  I think, in general, moms so readily and naturally give their kids love and support that the child’s psyche can just simply rest in it.  The maternal instinct is mostly a free gift that a mother passes on to her child.  A father’s love seems to be much more conditionally-based and harder to obtain. So when it’s given (or not given) Dad’s love tends to have a more powerful of an impact.

So what’s a mom to do?  Should she simply withhold some love in order to compete with dad and gain some hard earned appreciation around the house?  I think there is something in moms that make that simply impossible.  I’m not sure if it’s the 9-month in-utero bonding time or hormones or just a special something that God gave women, but moms plain and simple are just more tuned into the emotional needs of their children.  It will be interesting to see if this changes as the traditional roles in our society continue to evolve.  So the big question is “do dads have what it takes to meet the emotional needs of a child like a mom or are we forever handicapped by our gender?”

I don’t think men have some inherent emotional, biological or evolutionary blocker that keeps them from matching mom in child-rearing activities.  Actually, I believe there’s a more fundamental and underlying cause to the discrepancy.  The vast majority of men, I believe, are emotionally handicapped by an invisible father wound that keeps them mostly stuck in their own adolescence and unable to give much emotional support to anybody.

Men of all ages have a father hunger that subliminally drives most of what they do.  The fact is we are pretty oblivious to how deeply our father hunger dictates our moment-to-moment decisions and life choices. Sure, having an emotionally or physically absent father hurts women in lots of ways but it doesn’t seem to leave the same scars as it does on a man.  Most men I know, no matter how available their dad was to them, are still subconciously trying to prove their worth and value to win his affection and attention.  It doesn’t really even matter if he’s living, deceased or out of the picture altogether.  This underlying drive consumes a vast amount of emotional time from men that could be better spent in meaningful relationships.

If you don’t believe it then why is it that men have such a hard time resting in their masculinity?  Men spend a crazy amount of time trying to “prove” we are men. While women tend to just know they are women.  Men engage in all sorts of macho activities on this seemingly constant search to validate something that’s already there.  Women just tend to “know” and they don’t spend a lot of time trying to prove out their femininity.  Instead of wasting valuable emotional time on proving something they already possess, women have a greater capacity for engaging in deep and meaningful relationships.  Conversely, men have a hard enough time scratching below the surface with their wives, kids, and friends.

What would this world be like if more men satisfied their father hunger?  What if we were released from the never ending cycle of validating our own “worth” through power brokering, sports success, sexual prowess, or wealth accumulation?

There is nothing more powerful than a dad who breaks the cycle of fatherlessness by making sense of his own life story and then passing his masculine energy onto his kids.  But thank goodness we have moms who so selflessly give and give and give until us men can get up to speed.

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