Today is Father’s Day here in Canada and in other places across the globe. The day we set aside to honour the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and other influential men in our lives. It is a time for reflection for both those of us who have benefited from the guidance and assurance of a loving, male role model in our lives and those of us who find ourselves in a position to influence.
Adopting a Paleo lifestyle has done more than help me lose unwanted pounds or gain a better idea about my place in the world. It has also challenged me on many different levels. I think too often men in today’s society are content to cede their responsibilities and authority to other people. It was a long day at work. We want to have supper, put our feet up, and watch sports the rest of the night. Your two kids are starved for attention, haven’t seen you all day, and your spouse just stepped through the door 10 minutes before you after a long day of work, appointments, and kid hauling. What gives us the right, as men, to expect anything because we got to escape domestic responsibility, sit in front of a computer, and hang out with our buddies for 8 or 9 hours?
Living in a relationship with children carries a burden of responsibility you must be prepared to meet with energy every day. Living Paleo has challenged me to realize that it is no longer good enough to turn on the TV after dinner, drop the kids in front of it, and trundle off to do whatever I want. I need to engage my children in the things that will stimulate them to grow into the healthy, productive people I now know they can be. Whether that means going out in the yard after supper and playing with them, sitting down with them and reading or doing other things besides watching TV, or providing a good example by helping my wife with household chores. There are really a million different things you could be doing as a father besides letting electronic entertainment father your children. If you look into your heart and you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know instantly what I mean. They are all the things we promise ourselves we’d do if our lives weren’t so busy.
So instead of buying that new electronic gadget for yourself, buy yourself and your kids all baseball gloves. Instead of going golfing with the buddies on Saturday morning, take your kids and go to the museum. Instead of finding something for you to unwind with, play a game with your kids and unwind all of you. And if you do all those things already, good for you. It really is the Paleo thing to do. If you’ve challenged yourself to live a better life, there really is no way you can leave your family behind or ignore them in that endeavour. Even if they don’t want to eat like you right now. You need to engage them, play with them, and love them like never before. You’ll find your health is better for it and you’ll feel better for it as well.