To find out, we from the Parents Hotline spoke to two men who have already had the experience of becoming a father themselves. They are already changing diapers, sharing getting up in the middle of the night or reducing working hours to be there for their children. Their names are Martin, a doctor from Stuttgart, and Philipp, an energy policy consultant from Berlin.
The superfather on the golden pedestal
Philip's father was such an absent father. A father you can idealize well, because you don't get to see him in everyday life. Because he didn't vacuum and only had time for real when he was on vacation. A father who didn't want to be Philip himself, because he had to realize that his father and the ideal were not the same person. That's why he soon realized that with the birth of his son, his career was no longer so important to him. That he didn't want to go to evening events anymore and that he wanted to bring himself more into the home. "It's also important to actively take responsibility then. That you then also do things that you might not feel like doing at the moment, like changing diapers," says Philipp.
"My father was never too good for fun"
With Martin it was different. He describes that he has and had a very good relationship with his father: "Although I did not see him very often in childhood due to his profession, he was always a great role model for me and I could always rely on him. Even today I can always get in touch with him if something is wrong. He supports me and my small new family with everything he has. Besides he was not too bad for any fun. He always enjoyed spending time with me and my brothers."
Through fatherhood Martin feels he has arrived, Philipp grows from it
Martin says that fatherhood has slowed his life down. And that his little daughter gives him so much peace and confidence that he didn't know he had before. "It may sound corny, but somehow you feel you've arrived. I don't even remember the feeling of missing something," says Martin.
Philipp also believes that it has a positive effect on men if they can spend more time with their children: "I have learned so much in this short time as never before in my life. You have this immediacy. You can't grow from it," says Philipp. "You learn so much about yourself because there are physical similarities with the little one and similarities in behavior. I believe that if you don't have a child, you can't grow up at all," says Philipp.
"A father must offer guidance in his role as a man"
What, so, from the perspective of these two young fathers, makes a "good father"? Philip is clear: "A father must offer orientation in the role of a man. To do so, he must be available." But he adds, "As soon as you start thinking about fatherhood and masculinity, you start thinking about gender roles. It's important to be open to new experiences."
"Once you have a child, you have to make a decision: Do you go for it or do you deal with it: Are you the family breadwinner and the wife takes care of everything else?"
Philipp decided against it and reduced his working hours. He now spends much more time with his son. This is only possible because he has become self-employed. At his old employer he was looked at crookedly because he wanted to reduce hours.
"A good father is first and foremost loving and can also show feelings"
Martin emphasizes above all qualities such as courage, empathy and closeness:
"A good father is brave, shows strength, but at the same time he should be sensitive and funny. A good father should spend time with his children. He should always be there for them and give the child a feeling of security," says Martin.
Sounds like a lot of requirements for one person! But luckily you don't have to do it alone. Because mothers also wonder what a good mother has to look like. Why don't you drop by right now!
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