Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Renewal of a Father (and the Death of Customer Service)

I’m sitting in the Calgary Airport as I write this. I have a four hour stop-over on my way home from the at home dads convention and despite having room on earlier flights, Air Canada wanted to charge me $75 when I requested they put me on an earlier plane--seventy-five dollars for an act which costs them nothing. Glad to see customer service is alive and well.

Anyway, I’m not going to allow abysmal airline policy ruin my terrific mood. I had such a fantastic weekend with the at home dads. We had two fabulous keynote speakers: psychologist, Dr. Bowers from the famous Boys Town facility and the incomparable trailblazer and author of, Brian Reid. Dr. Bowers shared some valuable insights into the way our children think and offered some great parenting strategies; Brian got us up to speed on the various ways census and others try and refine the definition of an at home dad. This is why you can find verifying reports on the number of American AHDs, ranging from 158,000 to four million.

The weekend was great for so many reasons: hearing the way other men parent their kids, shooting the manure about everything and anything, and simply being with a group of like minded men who truly “get it” when it comes to being a parent.

I thought often about the life of an at home dad vs. the life of a loving, caring father who is working 60 hours a week. In my workshops with working dads, they so often feel torn between wanting to spend way more time with their kids and providing for them by working such long hours. I realized that these men get out of the rat race cold turkey. Once they are at home full time, their roles are much more clearly defined. These men, unlike the working dads I meet, aren’t torn at all. When they transition back into the workforce (as most usually do) I trust these men will carry the torch of fatherhood to their respective workplaces, and help raise the profile the woefully neglected needs of the working father.

The other thing I loved about this weekend is that it solidified my own philosophy in raising my sons—namely that they grow up knowing that they are loved unconditionally. That doesn’t mean they get hugs and kisses for setting the sofa on fire, it just means that they know they are loved just for being themselves-- just for being born. That way, they don’t spend a lifetime looking backwards wondering, “What do I need to do to get the love and approval of my dad?” They already have it---in spades.


  1. Cool post. I feel the same way. I want my kids to know that Daddy loves them no matter what. I know now that I am a father that there is nothing my kids could do to make me not love them. Too bad about the customer service problems. Seems like that is the way things are going everywhere anymore.

  2. How sweet you are as a father to your kids. I can really see how you love them so and you will surely do everything for your child's sake.

    As for your concern regarding customer service, sometimes it's kinda annoying for us if we experience not-so-good customer service. We must be treated well by the customer service representatives so that we may be able to put trust and good reputation towards them. I know some companies that have amazing customer service and there are also great call centers that serve and talked well with their clients.

    Anyways continue doing what you love and thanks for the great post!