With Father’s Day coming this Sunday I wanted to say Happy Father’s Day to all those men out there who have little (or not so little) people in their lives.
As only 20% of my clients are male, it got me thinking about why men don’t feel the need, or want, to go for a massage. Is it seen as something a bit too feminine that only women do to pamper themselves? Maybe it is more that they could be doing something more productive like cutting the grass, hitting the gym or having a pint?
However, something does change when they become Fathers. There is a definite shift to a softer side. They stop being able to watch Children in Need without welling up. They are actually interested in other people’s children and, more noticeably, their priorities change. The protective and caring nature comes out. Even the toughest man will never turn down a heartfelt request from their son or daughter, whether it is building Lego, jumping on the trampoline or simply a cuddle. Although I suspect, secretly, they may have done it without the request because they enjoy it just as much.
I am all for female equality and empowerment, but I also think that men, and Dads in particular, can have a hard time too. It is still commonplace for the mum to be the default carer, and although this is beginning to slowly change it is still a novelty to see a man at a toddler group. I salute their bravery, embracing the gaggles of women talking about child birth and breastfeeding and adding the baritone section into the nursery rhyme choir.
On the other hand, and particularly in our military environment, the dad can often work away. Although this is exhausting for the mum left behind, I believe it is also emotionally straining on the Dads. They miss so much. A snatched Face Time call always comes at the worst time, when the children are tired or in the middle of a very important game. When he does come back, the children are really excited to see him, but it does take time for the them to readjust to having 2 parents again. He doesn’t know about simple routine things and may feel a bit lost in his own house, wanting to help, but getting things wrong-because how could he not know that that their favourite song is now ‘Shake It Off’, when only last month it was ‘Let It Go’.
As Father’s Day is a time to reflect on what your Father has done for you, I want to say thank you. Firstly, to Ed for being the best daddy our girls could ask for. Then secondly to all the dads I know for opening up to their softer side-maybe it is time to embrace it and all that goes with it.
In any case, the benefits of massage are equally as great for a man as a woman and who knows you might even enjoy it.