It’s Father’s Day weekend, and as I watch my 19 month old daughter, V, snuggle up with my husband, M, I am moved by their tenderness towards each other. It makes me want to tell the world how proud I am of my daughter’s daddy; I don’t think men get enough recognition for their nurturing role, and I want to be a part of changing that, so here goes: Top ten (because there’s lots more!) reasons why I think my husband is a great dad!
- He prioritizes his family before anything else.
- He is not afraid to disagree with me about child rearing issues (this is important; too many dads are shut down by their spouses or don’t feel knowledgeable or confident enough in their own parenting to contribute their thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and two heads are generally better than one!) Often, I am impressed by how much thought he has given to a situation, and his insight and perspective help round out my own parenting style.
- He plays creatively and joyfully with our daughter. An example of this: after a recent Renaissance faire excursion where my daughter saw her first joust, my husband and daughter could be seen galloping through our hallways with a random pole that became our “jousting lance.” He is great at inventing fun and interesting storylines with puppets and V’s castle set and can often be found drawing and coloring with our daughter. He invents goofy voices when reading stories that crack V up!
- Our daughter seeks him out for comfort; she trusts him to care for her and help her when she is sad and frustrated or hurt. From the look on his face, I know this melts his heart every time.
- He is an equal partner in fulfilling child care responsibilities. While I am the primary caregiver as he is at work during the day, M jumps right in on evenings and weekends and has done everything I do to care for our child from diaper changes, to cleaning her ears, to dispensing medicine, to packing for day trips.
- He eagerly reads and researches child related topics to stay informed and current on issues pertaining to our daughter.
- He and I stand as a united front on issues related to our daughter; we make parenting decisions together and he has defended our decisions when questioned by others.
- He has supported nursing. This is a BIG deal. He brings me food and drinks when I am unable to get them due to a nursing kiddo. He is my company while I am couch bound with a nursing, snoozing little one, and is always willing to pop in a DVD for us to enjoy or get me a good book to read, even if he’d rather be doing something else. And he has encouraged me to feel comfortable nursing in the early days, as I was figuring everything out.
- He is my rock when I am flailing as a parent. He listens to my mommy woes, helps me seek solutions when necessary, calls me out on my mistakes when appropriate, and gives me comfort when I am emotionally or physically worn out.
- The number one reason my husband is a wonderful father: Our daughter loves her “DADA.” She is sad to see him leave and jumps up from activities to greet him as he arrives home each day. She trusts him, fights him, hugs him, rests her head on his shoulder when tired. She needs him; and he’s always there for her.
I invite you to join me in giving a little love back to the Dads today! Feel free to post what you love about your baby’s Daddy! And thanks to all the fathers who make our lives a little easier. A shout out to my father and father-in-law as well: the dads who came before who help shape us as parents. I love you all. Thank you!