Having a daughter has truly given me deep respect and love for my mother, sister, and all the women that have supported me through my life and continue to show me ways to be a great dad! My greatest resource and support right now are women, and they have shown me how to get in touch with my feminine side and understand women better. Having to be both parents has opened my eyes to the unfair expectations and responsibilities that are placed on women.
I have noticed throughout my years of being a foster dad that women get the blame for everything, and take the brunt of the hard and ugly things that can come along with being a parent. In most court cases I have witnessed, I always hear the judgment towards the mom, but never the dad. Why is this? We all know it takes two people to create another human, but only the female is held responsible?
It’s easy to judge the parents of my kids that I have. But I have come to learn that bridging the gap and loving their parents has opened my heart and allowed me the perspective to see their side. Holding off on judgment is not always easy, but it’s necessary. It’s hard to witness my children hitting milestones in their life, and thinking that their moms are missing out on watching their children grow.
When I was a child living on the street, all of the blame was put on my mom. I always heard growing up from other people that my mom was the problem, and people were upset that she let that happen to me. But why didn’t anyone say anything about my dad being part of the problem? A dad is just as responsible for the care and protection of their child.
I grew up in a culture where moms had to do everything, and where dads were never seen changing a diaper, or stepping into the kitchen. As life went on and I grew up, I realized this was not the way life should be lived or expected as the norm. It’s given me an internal conflict with the culture I was raised in. And I now see that this is a worldwide problem.
Having a daughter makes me want to be an advocate for women. Viewing life through my daughter’s eyes has made me even more protective of how she will be treated in life and the responsibilities that will land on her. Thinking of her being blamed or held to unruly standards by society makes my heart hurt. She is so special and deserving of all good things, as is every single woman. My daughter is strong, bold, caring, and uniquely her! I can’t wait to see the woman that she becomes.
Writer Samantha Jordan contributed to this essay.
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