THE ART OF FATHERING – ‘B’ SIDE
Well readers, today I thought I’d write about something a little different. It’s not so much about being a father, but about the struggles of simply being a male, and how we can sometimes be our own worst enemy. Just this afternoon my family was invited to a party down at the local beach, something that I would normally jump at with little hesitation. However, this party was organised by a women’s group that my wife is in, and was to be attended by the women, and their spouses, none of whom I had ever met. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but us blokes would sooner be mowing the lawn, or cleaning the gutters, or painting something (anything), rather than attend such a function.
However, contrary to the norm, this little black duck had made a conscious decision to get out and meet people (we are new to the area), and perhaps this party was just the tool I needed. Yep, pack the car honey, blanket, picnic set, mozzie repellent, and my best smile – it’s meet and greet time. My wife is so fortunate to have a hubby like me, I hope she appreciates it, not many guys would do this you know! Well, as the time drew nearer, and with my caveman-like instincts kicking in, I began to notice just how long the lawns were. I remembered it was bushfire season, and how the fire department recommend you keep your gutters clean. Surely something around here needs painting? Yes, I am a big scaredy cat – scared of trying something new, scared to make new friends, and now because of my not wanting to go – scared of my wife (only joking honey). Anyway, without going into the nitty gritty of “that” hour before the party, we both agreed to go to the party, because we felt it would be ‘good for us’, if you get my drift.
Well guys, you know the scene, sit in a corner where no-one can see you, let the wife do all the talking, and pray that your mobile rings – work needs you. OK, maybe it’s just me, but I really get uncomfortable when I don’t know anyone, I become a recluse, a loner, talking little, and when having to - only offering up the required pieces of information - you know; name rank and serial number. Well, didn’t I get a shock – they loved me! I had a ball. I met so many nice people. One of the hubby’s I got talking to was a mad keen fisherman (he has a boat), and we are going fishing next Tuesday night. Wow, what a turn-up for the books, me enjoying this type of thing, and it wasn’t really that hard. I now ask myself the question, what was I worried about, what’s the big deal? I think as guys we tend to get in our little comfort zone, not willing to step outside the square, and as a result – we get a little stale. Life is too short to become stagnant in our ways.
Get up, get out, and get motivated – try something new. Take it from me guys, play the flip side of the record, sometimes it’s better than the ‘A’ side.
Till next time,
Paul Sloan is an accountant working in Maroochydoore. He is married with three children aged one, nine and eleven years. Paul is an active surfer who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He is a family man who hasn’t lost his sense of humour.