June 16, 2015
Mothering and fathering are parenting gestures. They can be associated with gender or not. Growing children benefit from both gestures. In broad strokes, mothering involves the more inward, soft and nurturing aspect of parenting while fathering is about the outward activities of providing and protecting the child and family. Picture mothering as holding the child and fathering creating a safe vessel around the mother and child. Fathering deeds involve going out into the world to provide for the family and bring home what they need to thrive. It also involves protecting the family by keeping the home and the neighborhood safe, defending the family from harm. That is not to say that fathering does not involve tender aspects of loving a child; these two parenting gestures can be displayed by both fathers and mothers. Regardless of who does what, children depend on their parents to provide a nurturing and secure home in which to learn and grow. I'll never forget the coins in piles my father left out on the kitchen counter for us to buy a hot lunch at school. Even today when he is long deceased, my father's careful financial planning provides for my elderly mother. I am so grateful to him for what he did and continues to do for his family. Sunday is Father's day and so we are celebrating all those who are fathering children!