There’s football in the backyard and fishing on the weekends, and undoubtedly a few trips to the movie theater for the latest action flick. You also get to look forward to that special moment when you get to teach your son the tactical advantage of peeing standing up.
There are the intrinsic things that a dad is especially wired to pass along to a boy as well. Things like imparting your wisdom about the opposite sex and teaching them what it means to be a gentlemen.
The landscape between a father and his son is deep and wide, and fraught with success and failure. But, it is still uniquely theirs.
Conversely, consider the guy who finds himself in a house full of women…to no fault of his own. The guy whose little swimmers couldn’t quite grow a set. The guy who, after an unexpected blow to the groin, will only ever hear, “Ouch, I hurt my bagina!”
That man has a long road ahead of him. He is often faced with “girly nights” and “dance parades,” and the occasional request to paint his fingers and toes. A man such as this must take special care of his “maleness.” Because at any moment, if he’s not careful, he could find himself tearing up after an especially moving performance on “So You Think You Can Dance?”
I must admit…I am such a man. With a wife and three daughters, I know a little something about carrying the man-flag…solo. It doesn’t signify a lack of love, because most dads I know would do anything for their little girls. It is more a matter of sanity really.
You see men are never fully equipped to handle a constant onslaught of female interaction…in all its complexity and emotion. We are capable of small, varied doses, but that’s only after periods of solitude and/or a time of male bonding. Only then are we prepared for another round.
Take Care and Prepare
So if you find yourself in a position where guy-time is only a figment of your imagination, then take note of a few things that will help you recharge.
- Create your own space. If room permits, carve out a place that you can call your own. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it must be a place where you can retreat.
- You need to schedule time. You fill your calendar with all kinds of things, but some of that time needs to be carved out for guy stuff. If it’s not on the calendar it probably won’t happen.
- Find guys that know your plight. This means finding other guys with the same kinds of obligations. Grownups with families…not single friends that will most assuredly lead you down a dark path.
- Battle the bulge. I have found that one of the fastest ways for me to recharge is to work out. It could be a full-on P90X kind of thing or it could be a walk around the neighborhood. Just remember the man-tunes.
- Exercise a hobby. We all have something we’re passionate about. It may be tempting to abandon our pursuits when our lives get hectic, but that would be a mistake. Small or large, they are important.
- Get your girls involved. Test out something you love with one of your daughters. Things are usually pretty soothing when it’s one-on-one. Plus, you never know which one might actually like something that you like!
- Don’t feel bad. Every dad needs some guy time. This isn’t a license to become self-obsessed, but you needn’t feel neglectful just because you spend some time away.
Face the Music
The first step is admitting that you have a problem. You’re a dad with an estrogen-filled home and you need to do something about it. Running away is not an option, nor is trading in one of your daughters for a son…at least not in this country.
You just need to create some space and get your mojo back. Then, once you’re in the mix again, love those little girls with everything you have. You’ll be a better dad because of it!