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Being a dad… of daughters – or what does it mean to be a real father?

Have you ever encountered such a claim that if a grandfather has a granddaughter and not a grandson, he is a grandmother’s husband and not a grandfather? A “real” grandfather only becomes a grandfather when he has a grandchild. I have also encountered the opposite claim, regarding the “real” grandmother. Does this adage, or superstition as some say, apply only to a grandfather, or does it also translate to being a father? Is one a “real” father only when one has a son?

It depends…really only on the fathers.

Fatherhood – expectations vs. reality

In the ancient days, when I did not yet have children and a wife (😊), my plan was to have three children (including one adopted), consisting of sons, of course, and perhaps one daughter, just for a change. My plan has practically come to full fruition, except that I have… daughters themselves. Somewhere in the back of my mind thoughts began to walk about the fact that I would never have a son, that I would never realize myself as a “real” dad. In retrospect, I see how shallow and completely unfounded these thoughts were. Having daughters has become my greatest adventure that I can fully realize as a dad.

Once, talking to my father-in-law (who, by the way, also had daughters himself), I heard from him that having daughters was the best thing that could happen to him in life. At the time, I thought to myself that he probably says that because what is he supposed to say (sorry Tadeusz, it was like that 😊). I thought he would probably also prefer to have a son with whom he could do some repairs around the house or heavier work in the garden. One who will help him with the harder cases. Well, after all, daughters won’t do it.

Girls play soccer too! That is, raising daughters vs. stereotypes

My daughters have dramatically changed my approach to life and to raising them. I found that why should I give up stereotypically “masculine” games, just because I have daughters. Am I really supposed to limit myself to just playing with a dollhouse (which of course we also do and have a very fun time doing)? I remember Helen one day, she said she dreamed of a “real” ball to play “leg”. She herself indicated that she enjoyed playing ball with the boys during gym class and wanted to play at home as well. So I rushed to get in my car, drove to a sports store and bought a ball. However, it was not in the standard color, but dark purple, but this was due to the fact that there was a lot of snow lying around at the time (yes, it was one of those rare white days). Playing soccer in the backyard suddenly turned out to be one of the best games. It was also a great opportunity for physical activity in the backyard in winter. We dressed in sports sweatshirts, put on a hat and scarf and went outside for half an hour. We practiced dribbling, dodging obstacles, and then did 1-on-1 matches. We returned home warmed up and positively tired. Running in the snow is doubly tiring.

Did the game itself end there? Would the birth of daughters suddenly cause me to watch matches only on TV anymore, and not always? But no! Going to the games together is one of the coolest attractions. The first time I attended a game with my daughter was when she was…4 years old. To this day I remember how she sat poised in the stands and even before the game began to chant loudly the club’s shout, when there was still silence in the stands 😊 I won’t mention what pride I felt at the time, especially since it came out of the girl’s mouth. Six years later, another daughter joined us in the stands. So we have our family tradition. And they know very well what a burnout is.

With us, there is no division between men’s and women’s activities – equality begins at home

It is not around soccer alone that the world revolves. Also important is what we watch together, what we play with or what we do at home. Helena, but slowly also Marysia help with homework, which I used to think was more for the male part of the family, but now I see how incredibly wrong I was. The girls, together with me, painted the playground house, cleaned up in the yard, raked leaves, nailed nails (here, however, more Helen than Marysia :D- yet) and did pretty much all tasks without dividing them into more feminine and more masculine ones.

As I’m a nerd of sorts, my oldest daughter is already all over the Star Wars saga, and Chewbacca is one of her favorite toys in the room. Especially as it emits its characteristic roar. Not to mention the euphoria when it turned out that “already” in 6 months there will be another season of The Witcher, where she will finally be able to find out what happened to her Ciri (Sapkowski to read, however, is still too difficult). Younger girls, on the other hand, did not receive more dolls (or, horror of horrors, toy cleaning sets) for their Christmas present, but a moon base set with a space shuttle and a police base and separately a fire truck. It was amazing to watch all the previous dolls and their houses, gone completely, and their place taken by a howling fire truck, or astronauts, trying to get a spaceship out of the crater that was stuck there.

Thanks to my daughters, I completely changed my approach to what I thought their upbringing would look like. What’s more, I changed, completely, my world view, or in other words, I began to pay attention to things that did not particularly interest me before. For now I am responsible for the future lives of these wonderful young women, for who they will become in the future and how aware they will be of their value.

Feminist, dad of daughters – this is who I am

A few years ago I saw the slogan: “real men are feminist.” And I think that reflects my point of view very well. It always pained me to see how women are undervalued, especially when, according to some, they “only took care of the house.” Few saw at the time that such “taking care of,” or even worse, “sitting at home,” was de facto endless work for which one did not receive a salary, and could at most count on the mercy of whoever was “maintaining” the house. Such work also did not end at hrs. 4 p.m., only lasted until I went to bed. I think these images were already building a feminist attitude in me. I considered it an extreme injustice. Even though I was a boy I wanted to wash dishes or do other jobs that were stereotypically not meant for boys.

Today, I want my daughters to see that I, as a dad, as a husband, don’t “help” around the house by cleaning bathrooms, loading the dishwasher, or washing mirrors. I want them to see that these are also my household chores, not mom’s duties, in which I only “help”. I want them to see that these responsibilities do not have a gender assignment.

Am I a dad or a mom’s husband?

So in answering the question of whether I am a dad or a mom’s husband, I feel internally a full-fledged dad. My daughters have unleashed an incredible amount of energy and commitment in me. I have the impression that many men, when hearing about feminism, take it as something directed against them. That it is a movement that favors women at the expense of men. He does not see this as an opportunity to form successful relationships, full of happiness and mutual understanding and respect. That this creates healthy and equal relationships in workplaces. That by supporting and appreciating women in their realization we can live in a much better world.

I’m a dad of daughters and I’m very proud of it. We take out scarves, because in half an hour the match 😉.

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