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Ask a Dad: Is it wrong to care about my lawn?

Is it wrong to care about my lawn?

The short answer is No.

The longer answer has a lot to do with what a lawn represents to many men. For some, a lawn is a first impression. It is the first thing someone sees as they approach your home.  A neatly manicured and well cared for lawn conveys a sense of pride in home ownership. It is a small example of what can be achieved through attention to detail, dedication, and hard work. For a Dad who sits behind a desk all week, lawncare provides the opportunity to get your hands dirty. For even the most mechanically uninclined and unhandy of fathers, a lawnmower is a relatively easy machine to use and maintain. Cutting the grass can be a workout as well as a chance to throw in your earbuds and collect your thoughts after a stressful work week.

For many men, a lawnmower was the first large and potentially dangerous tool we were trusted with by our fathers. It was a passing of the torch of responsibility. For others, it was an open invitation to a revenue stream filling our pockets with extra spending money if the entrepreneurial spirit was within us.

Basic lawncare can also be a family activity. An opportunity to get your family involved in a group project, whether that be something as simple as picking up sticks and raking leaves or a more fun activity like choosing the perfect spot to plant flowers in the yard.

It can be unsual to think of something like routine yard maintenance as a hobby, but if you have a passion for it then it can be just that. By definition, a hobby is something done in one’s leisure time for pleasure. If you love taking care of your yard, then you’ve got yourself a hobby. Like all hobbies, however, its important to keep it from transitioning from passion project to unhealthy obsession. If you find yourself yelling at your own children to “get off your lawn,” it may be time to dial it back a bit.

The same answer could be said if the question had been: “Is it wrong to not care about my lawn?”

The short answer is No.

While a love of lawn maintenance has long been a sitcom Dad trope for years as a pillar of masculinity, it does not make you any less of a Dad to not thoroughly enjoy it. We live in a fast-paced world with leisure time at a minimum. For some guys, cutting the grass is just one more thing on what seems like a never-ending To-Do list. It’s ok not to feel passionate about your lawn, just don’t be the house that all the neighbors are talking about and you’ll probably be fine.

This question was found in the ASK A DAD section of the Daddy's Digest website. All questions are asked anonymously. If you have a question that relates to fatherhood that you want to ask without having your identity shared, please share it here. We regularly answer questions that are unanswered thanks to your anonymous submissions. 

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