Imagine that being your daddy was the best thing your father ever did. To hear that would be music to the ears of so many of our nation’s daughters. The little ones and those of us who have grown up to become women, women often still searching for whatever we feel we didn’t get from the first man we ever truly loved or placed upon a pedestal, whether or not he was actually worthy of such. While many of us have grown beyond the stage of finger pointing and the placing of blame, if we look back to revisit our yesterdays it is quite easy to see that our relationship (or lack of) with our father shaped the women we became.
Our feelings of not being worthy or of value in the eyes of our fathers resulted in adult women who struggled to love the face that stared back at them when they looked in the mirror. Our desire to be loved and accepted by the man who we share a genetic makeup with catapulted us to the arms of men who were so undeserving of our hearts despite us often attempting to thrust it into their hands hoping that they would love us back. For so many of us all we wanted was to matter to him, to be loved by him, for him to tell us that we were important and precious. And out of that want we went on a quest to find love.
Eventually, we would come to learn that love wasn’t giving away our body and innocence, love wasn’t spending our money to buy his affection, and love wasn’t standing still and feeling small as you were belittled and mistreated. It is a lesson that some of us are still learning. It is hard not to wonder how different life would have been if as daughters we had a daddy and not just a father. How different would life have been if someone had taught us how a woman should be treated? Had someone helped us to see that we were worthy of love and respect and that we were beautiful beings. What if someone looked into our little eyes, eyes that were brimming with hope and promise, eyes that had not yet seen how painful the world can be and told us we were the best thing they ever did?
I look at the way my husband’s eyes light up when he looks at his girls. And I wonder what that would do for so many of our daughters, to see their daddy’s eyes light up when he looks at them. To hear him say how much he loves being their father.
As referenced on The Root, according to child psychologist, Steve Biddulph, “girls with strong and involved fathers will grow up with higher self-esteem and make smarter choices later in life.” As a woman I know firsthand how true this is. As a mother I know what it means to me to be married to a man who realizes the gift and honor it is to be a child’s daddy. Even so, the reality is that for many children, a father will be nothing more than a memory or a person that we glorified because sometimes it is far too easy to fall in love with the idea of someone.
For some of us our father was the first man to break our heart. For some of us he was the man who taught us to protect it. There are numerous studies and books that will speak to the importance of having a father or father figure in your life but I believe the stories shared by women are the ones that tell it best.
Hi my name is Krishann. My father wasn’t always there and whether or not he could or couldn’t be there, in his eyes, doesn’t matter all that much. What matters is that he wasn’t there the way I needed him to be. We were inseparable and then on the brink of me becoming a teenager we were separate. I spent my teenage years making what I refer to as “a series of poor choices.” But by God’s grace I am here. I am standing, and I am still fighting to love myself and to let my husband love me the way I deserve to be loved. I’m pretty sure my dad thinks I’m awesome. In fact he has told me so but during the time when I most needed to hear that, I didn’t. And at 28 years old I still have to remind myself each and every day that I truly am enough.
While having a father is ideal we know the world we live in does not rotate on account of the things that we believe are ideal. May our children all be so blessed as to have someone who will help them to realize their value and potential. And in the event that there is no one else may we be that person.
BMWK — How did your relationship with your father shape you? Fathers how are you helping your daughters realize how valuable they are?