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If you have or had a good relationship with your Dad, come and tell me about it

(92 Posts)
BertieBotts Thu 12-May-11 19:37:56

Because I'm not sure I know what one is like sad and I think I should, for DS' sake. And I'm interested smile

Bink Fri 13-May-11 20:37:53

I have a very dear Pa too, who is heading for his 85th birthday next month.

Things that make him so good:

- when I was small & demanding, & it was bedtime, I would say 'tell me a story' and he would offer to read me one, and I would say 'NO! out of your head!' and he would do it. What patience! What effort! - I couldn't do that for my children

- when I was bigger & got myself in muddles over things (boys, exams, whatever) I would find myself just spilling everything to him, and he would simply say 'yes, I can see why you feel like that' (psychologists call it "validating") until I got myself together to see what was going on. Then he would tell me how wise I was for resolving it all

- when I was a teenager he once made a remark that made it sound as if he might be homophobic. I told him off furiously, and he listened, and if he had been prejudiced before I think he totally changed his ways. (A parallel - he was a judge (before he retired) and I remember him telling us about a case on appeal - all appeal judges read each other's judgments before they're delivered, and he'd been reading another's, and he said "I've just been reading X's judgment, and, you know, he's completely convinced me". Always always someone to listen, weigh up, and with no sort of agenda or pride about someone else being right. Moral compass, is the phrase, I think.)

On the other hand, I think sometimes living with such a beloved person is not so easy for my Mum, as people do rather automatically take his side.

BertieBotts Fri 13-May-11 21:54:38

Me too 26minutes smile

BertieBotts Fri 13-May-11 21:55:46

Sorry I'm not saying much.. I don't really know what to say, what you are all describing sounds so wonderful smile

RhinestoneCowgirl Fri 13-May-11 22:00:26

My dad worked long hours, and often had to travel for work, but the main thing that I remember, was that when he was there, he was really there. I.e. he played with us, read to us (doing all the voices) and lots of time just spent hanging out in the garden or on his allotment.

When I was a teenager I sobbed on his shoulder about my lovelife and he never said 'I told you so'.

He's a pretty good grandad too these days smile

perfumedlife Fri 13-May-11 22:01:55

26minutes, what a lovely, lovely dad, thank god you have him smile

To the Dads wine

perfumedlife Fri 13-May-11 22:05:45

BertieBotts do you want to talk about it? x

mamaduckbone Fri 13-May-11 22:08:10

My dad was the calmest, kindest, loveliest man. I was his little girl and he'd do anything for me. He was never well off, but was more content with his lot than anyone I know. My ds1 adored him. I always felt that he was proud of me.

cathers Sat 14-May-11 06:01:00

My dad is my rock. He is the calmest, most tolerant person know. He is insanely practical, can do and will do anything, from taking apart, re wiring and re assembling my children's toy electric trains when they break, to laying a patio. Nothing is too much for dad!

He always seems to have have so much time to give, he will take ds's to the park more times than i could count just so I can have an hour to myself and would change their nappies when small. We would mess around for hours when I was growing up in his shed building things out of odds bits of wood and things he saved.

He is the sort of man i would love my ds's to be. I love him dearly.

BertieBotts Sat 14-May-11 10:16:44

Perfumed, I did, but then I read all the responses and I felt it might sort of cheapen the thread. There's not much to say really - my dad isn't that bad, he's not abusive or anything like that, I just don't really know him and I don't feel like he knows me at all, and I gave up trying to make him proud some time ago. Pretty much feels like me and my sister were the "failed first attempt" from his first marriage. I never had a stepdad, so no example there either. My grandad (mum's mum) is very critical and negative about everything. My uncle was abusive to his children, which we saw, but nobody ever did anything about it, so as a child it was almost normalised. And then XP (DS' dad) was just uninterested and still is really.

I have a DP now and while any notion of living together or him being a stepdad to DS are a long way off, he's already so different with him than XP was and it's really strange for me.

maristella Sat 14-May-11 16:32:23

I love this thread smile

My Dad is ace smile
We are both very strong willed, outspoken and a bit fiery, so we have clashed at times and have the power to ignite fury towards each other, which hurts like fuck. We are different in that I can be very impulsive and erratic, and he is the one who brings me back down to earth every time.

When I was small he was my protector, my source of answers to a thousand questions, my climbing frame, my own personal comedian, my story teller, my link to our family history and my absolute number 1 fan.

Dad did buy me toys when he went away but he also bought me tools and showed me how to use them. I was so hacked off to be given a screwdriver, and to be made to wire plugs etc but now I'm better at diy than he is wink

My parents marriage was so utterly miserable, to the point where I was willingly placed into care as a teen. He was so hurt by this sad
When I went off the rails I put him through so much; I was fucked up and awful. He remained supportive of me, but insisted on being treated like a human being. Now that I am, and have been for some time, back on track I too insist on being treated with respect; Dad's reasonable expectations of others has been so inspiring.

Now he is my rock. We speak on the phone all the time, and when things go wrong or right, or I have questions or ideas, I call him first. He believes in me, he respects me, he understands me.

I'm a single parent to DS, whise father will not see him angry yet DS has such a fantastic male role model in my Dad. DS spends so much time with him in holidays so that I can work. Dad has always looked after him so that I could go out, because he saw that I sometimes struggled as a very young single parent, and just needed to go out to play myself.

We have recently lost a few people in Dad's generation (relatives and family friends) and I am scared witless of losing him. Even typing this has turned me cold, and made my heart hurt.

I love and need my Dad

maristella Sat 14-May-11 16:34:02

<wipes away tears so as not to alarm DS>

NorfolkNChance Sat 14-May-11 16:48:45

My Dad is amazing.

He was away a lot when we were growing up on business but he really made up for it when we saw him, always out playing in the garden, off on bike rides, trips to the park/beach etc.

The money from him working away meant we went on holiday to the North of France each year with my cousins and had quality time with him then too.

He has always been quite reserved, didn't say much but this improved as we got older (he has always been surrounded by women so never got a word in edgeways)

He was so proud of me and my sister when we got our exam results and went off to uni, I miss those long car drives up to Leicester because it was then that we really opened up to each other and I learnt so much about him. Nothing was too trivial or unimportant for him to take an interest in with us and even now he is clear he cares about us even though we are grown up and have left home.

He is a fantastic Grandfather to DD and I love watching them together.

Ok am going to have to stop now as I am getting all teary!

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 23:17:35

I was thinking about this thread tonight and when I found it, I thought it could do with a bump smile thanks to all the great dads out there. I'm getting married next year and re-reading this thread has made me realise that having a supportive dad is a bit like having a supportive husband, except that he's always been there and he always will. Now I understand why people get "given away" at weddings blush You are all very blessed.

Noregrets78 Wed 15-May-13 23:53:58

I love my Dad to bits. He has a sense of humour and always loved to have fun. I can remember him stroking my head when I couldn't sleep, letting me sob on his shoulder, or giving me harsh truths when I needed to hear them. Most of all he just seemed to take so much interest in so many different things, and try to pass that on to me. To this day he seems to know a lot about all sorts of things, and has a really enquiring mind. He taught me that the way you think about things is even more important than knowing facts. I didn't appreciate him when I was a teenager, but he knew I'd pull through eventually. I should show him this I bet he doesn't realise!

ChasingStaplers Thu 16-May-13 00:15:33

My dad was fantastic.
Very modern minded - completely equal relationship with my mum, who he adored, did his share around the house and did a job he didn't particularly love in order to put his family first - and always did. He never brought work home with him and constantly strived to further his career to give us all the things he never had but while we were in bed, so it never impacted on our time with him.
Was very loving and kind and respected me and my brother's views on things from an early age. He and my mum instilled confidence in me to be myself and not be led by others and as I became older I got over the embarrassment factor and became good friends with him (he used to make all my friends bacon sandwiches and tea the morning after we'd been out and piled back to my house smile )

He was a talented artist and fantastic at all things DIY (ah, how I could use his help now!) and had some wonderful quirks and eccentricities (bow ties, riding a bike and an obsession with the environment and recycling being a few examples).
He was hugely supportive of my mum and took a job that allowed him to support her to pursue a career dream that she had and she became very successful in her field.
Not a day goes by without me missing him. He would've been an amazing grandad and I know he would be proud of my DC (and enjoyed larking about with them). Unfortunately he was the glue that held our family together and losing him when I was 19 had a massive impact on all of us. My mum has never really got over his death and I've had some crappy, some abusive relationships since.
I'm coming out the other side now though and am starting to re find some of that strength he gave me and I hope that one day I'll meet a man who treats me the same way he treated my mum.
Love you dad xxx

ChasingStaplers Thu 16-May-13 00:22:08

Forgot to say that even when he was dying (cancer) he was still selfless and kept his sense of humour.
I messed up my a-level exams because of the stress and he wrote a letter to my chosen university explaining that he had terminal cancer and would they reconsider. They did (after checking out his story, no doubt) and I got onto the course I wanted. He would jokingly say 'you might as well get something good out of this situation' which might sound odd but it was how he was.

This thread is great. Making me tearful, but in a good way, so thanks smile

Lioninthesun Thu 16-May-13 00:34:53

I feel now that I never really knew my dad until I had DD.
When I was younger he used to be the naughty parent and mum would get an edited version of what I had eaten and done over my weekend with him. He tried to make it fun, and it was, but he wasn't really 'there' always reading the paper or letting me just go off outside. I guess he didn't really know what to do with me.
When I lost my mum he nearly made me disown him by telling me a lot of horrible things about her and my childhood that I didn't need to know, just days after she died. I hated him at that time.
5yrs on and with DD I can see him really trying. He still irritates me by not understanding basic food requirements DD cannot live by chocolate biscuit alone but he calls her by my first name and old memories seem to be coming back about how he went to the park with me after pre-school etc, which are giving me a lovely insight into a time I had blocked out. My parents divorced when I was 4 and it was literally never talked about. My childhood memories are very patchy and sadly only the bad seem to stick out. I love my dad now, and can see that he is human and normal, slightly quiet and carefree, which has come as a bit of a surprise.
Like you Bertie I feel the absence of him in my youth though, and without a DP/DH for DD can completely 'get' why you are asking. Interesting responses.

OhLori Thu 16-May-13 00:44:04

Just like 'wow' at this thread and the really special relationship dads sometimes have with their daughters; I didn't have that myself (this thread is not really about that though), but its still amazing to read about.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 12:55:25

It is Lori, that's why I started it (old name) - to see what it was like, because i never had any of this with my dad either.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 13:04:14

It is a bit of a mindfuck to realise though, that a figur/role like that exists in most families. A nice one smile but also makes me realise that there is in fact a gaping hole in mine. It makes sense to me too now I know the feeling of being loved and supported completely by a DP, why that would be so important from a young age and perhaps even why I made some of the relationship choices I did when I was younger. Mumsnet - better than therapy grin

Estherbelle Thu 16-May-13 13:16:35

I couldn't ask for a better dad than mine - he is the most loyal and trustworthy person I have ever known and he's never let me down. He and my mother have been married for over 40 years and not once have I ever seen him treat her with anything but the utmost respect.

He reached the top of the tree in his profession and his colleagues spoke o highly of his integrity, but he always made time to help me with school work and take on outings at weekends, no matter how busy his work schedule was. As I got into my late teens and started going clubbing, rather than me paying through the nose for a taxi and potentially getting in dangerous situations, he used to set his alarm for 2am and drive into the city centre to come and pick me up!!

He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, as opposed to forcing his expectations on me. If it wasn't his financial help, I wouldn't have been able to leave university with zero debt or afford a deposit to buy a house. When my fiance walked out on me when I was halfway through studying for my Masters, my Dad stepped in and financially supported me so that I could complete my qualification.

Even though I'm 34 now he still goes way beyond the call of duty to help me out, without me even having to ask. Tomorrow, for instance, he's coming round to help me sort out my garden, because he's such a skilled gardener compared to me.

It's only as an adult that I've come to realise how lucky I am in comparison to some others. It does mean I've got incredibly high standards when it comes to men though!

oldwomaninashoe Thu 16-May-13 13:40:50

My Dad has been gone for over 20 years and not a day goes by that I don't miss him. My Mother was wonderful too but I felt especially close to my Dad.
When I left school I worked as a temp in his office and it gradually dawned on me how others held him in high regard and how much he was liked and respected by those around him.
My Dad always had high ambitions for me and I always felt that I had let him down as I lurched though life in a pretty aimless way for many years.
A couple of years after his death I was talking to someone who I had never met before who it transpired had known my Dad. She said to me that he had told her how proud he was of me and what a wonderful Mother I was to my boys.
I was very touched, yes i knew he loved me, by the fact he was always "there" for me, advice, help, whatever.
Gosh I miss my Dad!

LokiTheCynicalCat Thu 16-May-13 13:41:20

My dad is quite academic. He loved to encourage us learning. He read all the bedtime stories, he used to spend hours trying to teach us the alphabet chart, bits of French ("Je voudrais un glace citron, voilà cinq francs!") He came to our school plays, our debates, our pony club events, he learned how to drive a horse trailer and fasten a head collar and feed a pony, he taught us tennis and boules and swimming.

He was really into preserving family memories of us and for us as we grew up. He used to borrow a video camera from a rental store that operated next to his office 30 years ago and used to take loads of home videos when we were kids. He took lots of his father in law, my maternal grandad too - because he was elderly and frail even then and my dad wanted to preserve his history. Dad was the family photographer, there are packets and packets of photos in his study with the contents carefully penned on them.

He cried the day my sister (the last one, the home bird) left home to move away for her first job. He volunteers for airport drops and pickups for those of us who live abroad, even though I always hire a car.

When I'm home I can call into his office - hes self-employed - and he will stop whatever he is doing to have a chat.

I know I've listed things he did or does rather than feelings etc - but the great thing about my dad is that he was interested in spending time with us, both as little people and as grownups. Individually and together. He worked and still works hard, and long hours, but we got a lot of his attention when he was home.

PeppermintPasty Thu 16-May-13 13:54:31

How very, very odd Bertie. I was only thinking last night about a post I wrote on here some time ago about my Dad, and paint me pink the very thread pops up again!!

My Dad died in 2009 and I so miss him. When I went away to University years ago to get away from my Mother some 250 miles away, he used to say that he missed me so much, but then he would look out of the window and see the sun, and he would think about how it was shining on me wherever I was, and that made him feel better.

The old soft pudding. Miss you Dad xx

VanitasVanitatum Thu 16-May-13 14:12:56

I can't really put into words what my dad meant to me. I know that now he has gone (he died four years ago) no one will ever know me, understand me, or love me like he did. He was the best man I've ever known. I was so incredibly lucky to have him, and I hope to live up to his dreams for me.

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