You don’t need a wife or a penis to be a father

Being a good father has nothing to do with your genitalia or your partner.

I've experienced, heard about and read every excuse out there justifying poor parenting on the father's side. From "I was at work," all the way through to "That's not my responsibility," and even "It's not my week to have them,". These are all just excuses. There's no excuse that justifies being a shitty father.

You can always choose to be there, choose to be better, choose to discipline your kids, treat them well, give them every opportunity that you can to make it in life. These choices are not limited to men, they are not limited to men in relationships and they are not limited to men in relationships exclusively with women. These choices are gender agnostic. These choices are situation relevant and whether you are a woman taking on the role of a dad, a dad doing it alone or a man who was once a woman who used to be a mom and are now a dad, then choose to be there. Be present and take a stand for your kids. They need you.

Every year we have set days for celebration that the world rallies around. Heritage days, religious days, fun days, days of remembrance and the one that Nic Harry is quite fond of; Father’s Day.

The family unit is different today than it was in decades past. There is more diversity and complexity than ever before and I love that. Family units are unique and Father’s Day should be a reflection of these unique family units.

At Nic Harry we choose to celebrate all kinds of dads. Dads who choose go it alone with their kids, dads who have been abandoned, dads who used to be moms, moms who have become dads out of necessity and any kind of dad in between.

It’s naive to think that there is only one way to raise children, one type of family and one kind of father out there. It’s different for everyone and I respect any parent who chooses to stick around.

We’ve spent time bringing together and listening to different kinds of dads this year.

We met with Theo who has discovered a new meaning to life and the concept of an unconditional love. He’s present and engaged in the raising of his boy.

Peter is a dad who lives and works in South African so that he send money home to Zimbabwe. He doesn’t see his kids every day, he doesn’t get to participate in their daily lives but he is more of a contributor than many missing fathers in the world. His role isn’t diminished and he’s doing the best he can for his family.

The diverse nature of the family unit flourishes with Gerard and his partner who have two adopted children that they are raising.

Some families have two dads. Some families have two moms. Some have neither and those children are taken care of by relatives who become the father, mother and everything else that the child needs.

Constable Mtandana is raising her two kids while protecting strangers every day as a policewoman. Sadly, her and her kids were affected by the recent Hout Bay fires. It takes a strong human being to be a policewoman and still have the energy and enthusiasm be a mother, father and friend to her children. "You need to be strong and patient to get what you want from your kids. Being a single parent forces me to play both roles every day. There's room for disappointment but my kids need to learn patients and understand that I'm playing both roles for them."

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