3 Lessons Having an Atypical Dad Teaches You
Family,  Mommy

3 Important Lessons Having an Atypical Dad Teaches You

As Father’s Day approaches, I think about the most important man in my life, my Dad.  I think of my Dad as an atypical dad.  My parents aren’t divorced, separated, or estranged in any way but for as long as I could remember, my brothers and I lived with my Mom while my Dad worked somewhere else; sometimes in another city, state, or even country.  This is our family norm. 

In the past few years, I’ve seen different counselors and every time I give my account of my family life, counselors can easily point a finger at my Dad and say that this is where my problems began.  They would tell me, you have these problems because your Dad wasn’t around.  Then I would explain how my Dad is the best example of a dad and how more dads should strive to be just like him and this is why…

3 Important Lessons Having an Atypical Dad Teaches You3 Important Lessons Having an Atypical Dad Teaches You
Hard Work & Dedication

My Dad taught me what true hard work is.  My Dad has done the same job for over 30 years.  He is now a senior health physics tech that travels to various locations to monitor and eliminate radioactive waste.  In fact it’s his work that inspired me to go to college for Chemical Engineering.  My Dad has worked his way up earning the respect of many of his coworkers because of how hard he works.  He is an accurate, reliable, and an honest man.  He is never late and will be the first at work at 4:00 AM and the last to leave.  He works on weekends and sometimes he doesn’t get a single day off for months.  During busy seasons he spends 12 or more hours at work and he never misses work for being sick. 

He doesn’t have a comfy office job in an air-conditioned room but instead spends most of his time outside exposed to all kinds of weather.  The best part about my Dad is that he isn’t bitter like most of us would be with a schedule and work environment like this.  He can still cracks jokes, do the job and get it done.  He could easily laugh at someone that complains about how tough they have it at their job but he doesn’t because he’s not that kind of man.  You don’t know what it means to have a long day at work unless you’ve fallen asleep at the dinner table seated upright (I have the pictures to prove it).

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Marriage & Family

My Dad taught me the meaning of marriage commitment.  My parents have been married for 37 years this month and 95% of those years were spent away from each other.  In fact, my Dad wasn’t even in the same country when I was born.  Nevertheless my parents’ marriage is strong, healthy and faithful; it is untainted by marital affairs.  I struggle in my own marriage and counselors have told me that I’ve never seen a functional marriage because my Dad wasn’t around for me to see how a married couple behaves and therefore, why my marriage struggles.  I believe that although my upbringing was less than ideal and not considered “the norm”, my parents showed me what a marriage commitment, faithfulness, and love looks like.  The struggles my parents must’ve went through being apart from each other and yet they succeeded in caring for and raising 3 kids together all these years apart.  I have seen marriages fail for far less reasons.

My Dad taught me that family comes first.  He spends most of his time away from family because he takes his role as our family’s provider seriously.  He does what he needs to do to provide for us because family always comes first.  All these years I’ve always wondered how my Dad could deal with being away from his wife and kids for so long.  I would see my Dad 3-4 times a year, sometimes visits from my Dad would be as short as a weekend, as long as 1-2 weeks and then I wouldn’t see him again for a few months.  I’m now 29 years old and my Dad has been doing this all my life.

Love & Sacrifice

It is needless to say that my Dad has also taught me what real true love and sacrifice looks like because he lives it every day of his life for his family.  There is no other person, no typical dad, that could’ve taught this any better than my Dad.  I have never felt unloved by my Dad because he “wasn’t around” or blame my Dad for any of the circumstances I find myself in.  My Dad has always had my best interests for me and has never turned his back on me when I failed him.  My atypical Dad is the perfect example of what a dad-figure should be.  I have never seen any other typical Dad that takes his role more seriously as a husband, father, provider, or protector than my atypical Dad that most counselors do not approve of.

There’s a particular song that always reminds me of my Dad and although it refers to God as our Father, I’d also like to think that earthly fathers strive to be this as well…

Chris Tomlin – Good Good Father
I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone
Chorus: You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
‘Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word
Because you are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways
You are perfect in all of your ways to us
Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

Things to Consider

What Lessons did your Dad teach you that couldn’t be taught by anyone else?
What is your favorite quality about your Dad?
What advice do you have for new Dads?

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Wife, Stay at Home Mom of two boys, and blogger. Friends and family call me Kaye but my personal favorite is "Mom." I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to be at home with my two baby boys. As an engineer by career, and stay-at-home mom by choice, I write about how to “Invent. Innovate. Design. Mommyhood” and what that entails.


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