They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’ve always known this to be true in my life. Being away from my family for 18 months to serve a full-time mission for the Church reminded me of how much I love my family. I learned to love them even more while being away for such a long period of time. One of my most memorable moments was when I was coming down the escalator in the Salt Lake City airport searching for my family among many strangers. Once I saw their beaming faces I ran toward them. The first person I hugged was my dad. I was so overcome with emotion that I began to cry. I had not been in his arms for 548 days.
My dad is the one who always gave me the advice that I needed to hear in my life. He called me “baby girl,” and he still does because I am the youngest girl in my family. He is kind and loving towards others. He has been the perfect example and mentor that I needed throughout my childhood and adult life. Throughout my mission, I received an email from him every week without fail and he always told me what I needed to hear. All of these experiences have made me reflect on what life would be like without this great man in my life. Continue reading →
Concurrent Session #6: The Distinctive Roles of Mothers and Fathers in Families
Dr. Candi Finch (Chair)
Jenet Jacob Erickson, Ruel Haymond, Warwich Marsh, Miriam Grossman MD
This segment was EXTREMELY full to overflowing! There were easily 4 times more people standing than there were seated in the chairs. It definitely was a standing room only ordeal. I will give you an overview of what the bulk of the speakers discussed then, bullet points of some specifics.
It appeared to me that the speakers spent more of their time regarding the importance of fathers in the marriage, home, or equation, than all about the mothers role. This was the case with the two male speakers for sure and Jenet spent a good amount of time with both genders. Dr. Grossman did speak primarily about the uniqueness of motherhood and the science behind it.
I’m 60 years old, and my Dad passed away almost 30 years ago in July of 1985. I can’t believe it has been that long ago. You would think that memories would eventually fade, but they don’t. Dad and Mom left a legacy to their children and grandchildren that will live forever in their stories. In honor of Father’s Day, I’ll share just a few of my favorite memories of Dad. Dad always said his main legacy to us was his sense of humor. Read on to see why.
As a young child, I adored my dad! I wanted to be just like him. He liked mustard on his sandwich, so I ate mustard on my sandwich. He would come home from work tired, but always found time to wrestle and play with us. As I grew older, my dad was the one who challenged me to work a little harder, go a little further, and succeed a little more.
My dad was and is the glue that tied our family together. He is fiercely loyal to my mother. As a teenager, if I was mouthy or rude to my mother, it would not matter what my father thought. He stuck by my mother and made me respect her.
A few months ago, my dad flew 3,000 miles to hike with one of my sisters and visit my brother and me. During my father’s visit, and as a pregnant mother with 9 young children, I found myself in bed, sicker than I have ever been in my life. My dad came over, sat on the hard floor, and built puzzles with my little boys. With his aging body, he jumped and wrestled on the trampoline with about 6 of my wild kids. He was a Super-Dad and a Super-Grandpa!
As a new father, my husband was unsure how to hold, feed, or even play with his baby daughter. The first diaper he changed is very memorable because he forgot to put a new diaper on. Although he was timid and inexperienced, it wasn’t long before I became very aware of just how much my baby daughter needed her father. I was a better mother, simply because her father was present. He helped me to be calmer, kinder, and wiser, even with just a newborn infant. I knew without a doubt that while I could be a good strong mother without my husband, having him there made my role as mother easier.
Over the years, as more and more children came into our home, I have seen my husband change from that timid new father who didn’t know how to hold a baby, to the super-hero of my children. He finds joy in holding and cuddling our babies. He builds blocks and wrestles with our toddlers. When he reads the little ones stories, he always changes the words to make them laugh. He keeps a secret stash of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream hidden in the freezer to share with the kid that has had a bad day or just needs a little more attention.
He has gained the respect of our teenage daughters by being the strict parent. He cares how they dress. When they buy new clothes, they always go to their father for approval. Sometimes they are not happy with his response, but they respect his opinion on how they dress and behave above anyone else’s. They are better because of their dad.
Children need fathers. Mothers need fathers. Society functions best, when fathers are present in the home. Just having a father present in the home, improves society. The statistics are striking.
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. of Health/Census).
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes (Center for Disease Control).
80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26).
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (National Principals Association Report).
70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988).
85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction).
71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999).
With all of the stability and health that fathers lend to families and society, fatherhood is rarely honored. In movies and on television, fathers are always portrayed as the silly, ignorant doofus, or the angry dad on the soccer field. Rarely are they given the status as necessary and honorable. Yet fathers are noble, necessary, smart, good, and serviceable.
Fatherhood is something to be honored and celebrated! Men who chose to become fathers are choosing the noblest calling of all. Heavenly Father, the greatest father of us all, the creator of all things both in heaven and on earth, the being who is eternal, infinite, and omniscient, the one who has all glory and power, has not asked to be called, “All Powerful God” or “Creator of All Things”. He has simply asked us to call Him, “Father”. Above all of His titles, achievements, and perfections, our God holds one role above all others—Father.