There is NO Such Thing as a Deadbeat Dad
Deadbeat Dad, you hear that expression all the time. It drives me crazy. There is no such thing. And I feel qualified to talk a little about Fatherhood. I am one. Actually I like to think I’m a Dad. You see, I think there are different terms for the people who have fathered children and not all of them apply to everyone.
First there is the Dad. If you have a Dad you are one of the lucky ones. A Dad is the guy you know you can always count on. A Dad not only takes care of your needs financially, but takes care of you emotionally as well. He is the guy that is there when you need advice, he is there when you need to have those sneakers everyone else is wearing, and he is there when you need a hug. He is the guy that taught you how to throw a ball, or ride a bike. He was at your ballet recital or baseball game to support you, and cheer you on. You wanted so much to make him proud and never realized you were already the love and pride of his life.
That is your Dad.
Then you have the “Father”. For whatever reason this man has for what ever reasons fallen just short of “Dad”. Maybe you come from a divorced family and while he faithfully sends a check every month to make sure you have the food and clothing and shelter you need, he can’t seem to find the time to call. Maybe he lives with you but for whatever reason can discipline you, and set boundaries for you , but he doesn’t know how to show affection or never really has much to say to you at all, let alone give you advice. Maybe he is the guy who is always there to throw the football, or take you to the park but doesn’t feel a need to contribute to your well being financially. Maybe in his heart he means well but comes up short, maybe he doesn’t care but at least tries to be there for you in some way. Either way, That’s your Father.
Now we get to the Biological Father/ Donor. This is the guy who knew he couldn’t be or was not in any way ready to be a good Father to you , let alone Dad. And her and your Biological Mother chose to give you up for adoption. We all know there are a great many reasons for this and usually is a gift in many ways to the child in question. And I am sure that when they did it , it was with a heavy heart and with the hopes that you would be happy growing up with a loving “Dad” and “Mom”. Also in this category is the man who literally donated his DNA to a couple that is in need of such help and did so with no intentions on ever being a Father or a Dad. There is a place in this world for “Donors” as well.
Now the last in our Fatherhood scale is Deadbeat. You might prefer Deadbeat Loser, or Deadbeat Waste of Life. Whatever works for you , but do not call him a Deadbeat Dad. The word Dad should not be associated with this man ( and I use that term loosely) at all. This is the guy who has every chance, opportunity and duty to be your Dad, or at the very least your Father and he refuses to do it. He does not wish to be in your life, nor does he feel a need to support you and provide basic needs for food and shelter. He does not realize that Fatherhood is not only his responsibility as a part of this society, its a gift. A wonderful , difficult, draining, amazing, heartbreaking, uplifting, demanding, and rewarding gift.
SO that is why i say there is no such thing as a “Deadbeat Dad”. Please do not associate these (men) with a title as awesome and important as “Dad”. That title should be saved for those of us that it means something to. Those of us it means everything to.