5 Sep 2014

Father’s Day whinge

As Father’s Day approaches in Australia, I think of my dad.

Although he passed away three years ago, as cancer took him away from us horribly fast, my son reminds me of him every day. Santi’s cleft chin looks just like dad’s was. He also has the same strong and passionate character that runs in the family and leaves no doubt about whether we’re happy or frustrated.

I don’t particularly enjoy doing anything dictated by someone else and have a general aversion to celebrations instigated by shopping centres and carried out by thousands of people at unison. However, it’s nice to just stop, think of the important men in our families and celebrate the day with them somehow, even if it’s just via email.

As part of this celebration I’m going to encourage the men in my life to whinge. Why? Because often we hear people talk about man flu and how men complain way too much whenever they get a bit sick however, I know lots of men who suffer the opposite problem. These men disregard the importance of looking after themselves, ignore signs of ill health and are incredibly reluctant to see a doctor.

According to Australian research, compared to women, men visit the doctor less frequently, have shorter visits and only attend when their illness is in its later stages. This seems to be linked to a definition of masculinity which includes strength and silence.

So I’d like to say to all the dads: whinge! If you’re not feeling well, physically or mentally say so.

No one will think less of you, definitely not those who love you. Your family will probably feel proud to support you the same way you support them when they need it. You’re likely to recover faster if you seek help early and have the help of those around you. All this may contribute to you sticking around a bit longer for those who love you.