“What’s Dadsville?” you might be wondering. It’s not a real place of course, but a state of mind. A state of mind in which you have become completely absorbed by the task of parenting, to the point where everything else in your life slips away.
It’s natural for this to happen; some might argue it’s even preferable. Don’t have kids if you don’t expect to be surrendering a part of yourself. However, the neighbors in Dadsville can make for unhealthy friends; lack of confidence and low self-esteem in and of yourself. As a Dad, you’re still acing it, but as a guy? That’s where it can be a tricky place to live. Keeping yourself feeling good, confident, and outgoing is key not just for your own mental health, but it’ll also make you a better father in the long run. So, to make sure you keep on driving right past the exit for Dadsville, you need to heed these warning signs.
1 – Ceasing to Care About Socks on Show
There’s a reason sandals with socks is such a stereotype; it’s the clarion call of the man who has ceased to care about his appearance. It’s such a cliché that you should want to avoid it for that reason alone, but steer clear even if you’re tempted for practical reasons. Better to opt for sneakers if you can’t do without your socks!
2 – Improper Grooming
Or even… no real grooming at all. Life is busy and you’d rather spend your time with your kids than preening in front of a mirror; it’s an easy choice to make. However, there’s no need to let your looks run completely to seed. A quick trim of your hair takes 10 minutes at the local barber, while caring for your beard is simple enough to do from home. You’ll look more put together and sharper if you hair, beard and grooming habits are neat, and it really doesn’t take that long to do.
3 – Using One of The Dad Clichés
Thanks to decades of sitcoms, you should be familiar with some of the cliché statements often uttered by Dads. First and foremost, there’s the comment on the length of skirt that your daughter is wearing. Sure, you can mention it, but if you feel tempted to utter the words “you’re not going out dressed like that!”, then you’ve crossed the Rubicon into Dadsville.
Then there’s the other classics, including but not limited to:
- “While you live under my house, you’ll live by my rules!”
- “Do as I say, not as I do!”
- “Ask your mother.” – as an immediate response to any request from your kids.
You can still say the sentiment behind these, of course – just avoid using the exact wording that will do little but make your kids roll their eyes.
4 – Try to Be “Cool”
Finally, there is nothing that is quite so big a welcome mat to Dadsville as trying to pretend you’re “down with the kids”. If you don’t understand a pop culture reference that your kids make, why not try asking them to explain it rather than laughing along cluelessly? At least this way you’re being honest, and you will understand it the next time – it’s a win/win situation!