Updated: Nov 6
One of the most challenging concepts I've tried to articulate is the distinction between being a "Father" and being a "Daddy." As someone who grew up with a Daddy rather than a Father, I can spot the difference not by appearance, but by actions. It all boils down to one word: Love. Contrary to popular belief, love isn't just something you say; it's something you do. Love is an action word, and nowhere is this more evident than in the role of a Father.
Being a Father isn't just a title; it's a commitment that manifests in daily sacrifices. It's waking up to feed your newborn after only 30 minutes of sleep. It's hugging your partner, cooking dinner, and doing laundry when you're bone-tired. A Father knows if his children have eaten, what they ate, how they feel, and whether they're happy or sad. He's involved in every activity, from giving baths to wiping butts. Fathers work jobs they love, tolerate, or even despise, all to ensure their children have what they need. It's a thankless role that demands more than just biological contribution; it requires an unwavering presence in every moment of your child's life.
On the other hand, Daddies are the men who come and go as they please. They partake in the fun events, play games, but never make sacrifices. They don't invest in building healthy relationships or ask meaningful questions. Daddies are unreliable but fun, primarily because they shirk the responsibilities and "dirty work" that come with parenting.
What irks me the most is when people conflate Fathers with Daddies, as if we're doing the same thing. We're not. I am a Father. I am reliable, I make sacrifices, and I strive to create an environment filled with love, safety, and reliability for my family. Love is humility, listening, apologizing when you're wrong, showing respect, and giving without expecting anything in return. These are the things Fathers do, while Daddies are too self-absorbed to even consider them.
So, the next time you find yourself evaluating the men in your life—whether it's you, your partner, or someone else—pay close attention to these traits. And perhaps this Father's Day, consider adjusting your well-wishes to reflect the true essence of what it means to be a Father.