3 Ways My Mom Taught Me How to Be a Dad

Home Made Dad learned the vital principles of parenthood from his mother.

This was previously published on Home Made Dad.

Today is June 14. It’s a date that will always be special to me because it was my mom’s birthday. She would have been 72 today.

Though she left us in body only 3 years ago, she was abandoned by her mind several years before that in her struggle with early-onset dementia.

Curiously, my mom’s worsening dementia corresponded almost exactly with the birth of our twins and the subsequent awakening of my own parenting instincts. It’s a cruel irony that my own parent, the person on whom I modeled much of my own parenting style, was not really present to see the fruits of her labours.

In the intervening three years since her death, much has changed. We moved west to Alberta from Ontario. I took a turn as a stay-at-home dad and helped integrate the family into our new lives in Edmonton. And I have since returned to full-time work outside the home, building a dynamic social media consulting practice.

While stay-at-home parenting is full of rewards, it also has its challenges. I wrote about those challenges over the past few years on this blog and recently some of these posts have been reprinted in various places.

Coincidentally, today, the Good Men Project decided to republish one of my posts about thechallenges I felt some days about being a dad doing work that moms usually do. I always enjoy these opportunities to reread my posts and think about them from a new perspective—one that comes with the passage of time.

Sometimes, upon rereading, my posts feel to me out-dated and no longer relevant. But not this one. It closes with 3 guiding principles of parenting that are as vital to me today as the day I wrote them:

  1. Pay your love forward because it’s an investment in the future.
  2. Be the best parent you can be because no parent can be perfect.
  3. Make the lives of the people around you better because that’s the way we can change the world for the better.

Hopefully, these principles ring true for you and my mom’s memory can be a blessing to more than just her own children and grandchildren.


Read more Father’s Day stories on The Good Life.

—Photo credit: Jay Palter

About Jay Palter

Jay Palter is a social media consultant and strategist specializing in developing personal brands online. An avid blogger and web content curator, he maintains several blogs (including jaypalter.ca, homemadedad.caand Newish in Edmonton). As an active father and "primary parent" to 3 kids, Jay is committed to expanding the domestic roles and responsibilities of dads—starting with his own role in his own family. You can find him on Twitter at @jaypalter, Google+ and Pinterest.


  1. John Anderson says:

    “Be the best parent you can be because no parent can be perfect.”

    As someone circumcised without his consent, I’ve reached some level of forgiveness so that’s not just advice for parents raising children. It’s also advice for children who may not appreciate every decision their parents have made for them.

  2. Notbuyingit says:

    Father’s not necessary in there children’s life’s, I am just hoping that is not what you are implying Sir, with all due respect, your story is an exception to the rule & every stat federal or state that was produced shows negative results all around as a result of households with no fathers, Google it if you think I am exaggerating, every social illness in the country can be traced to it, & as a understand it there is this social agenda to make single mothers the norm & it’s being encouraged & supported by various feminist organizations like “NOW”.

Speak Your Mind