Dads can be a powerful influence for good in their families. In honor of Father’s Day, here are five things that dads do best.I have a pet peeve. I hate it when TV shows, commercials, and movies portray dads as bumbling idiots. I watched my fair share of Home Improvement growing up and loved it, but as a wife and mother now, the show makes me cringe.
I get that these imperfect dads are meant to be entertaining and endearing, but in the complex world in which we live, we cannot afford to promote the cultural stereotype that these “lovable idiots” are the norm in our society. There are so many real-life men who are intelligent, dedicated, and capable fathers. Men who work hard to provide for their families, sacrifice so much of their time and energy to be present in their homes, and raise their children as equal partners with their wives—not as some extra pseudo-child for the wife to take care of.
We need to celebrate these men and let our children see their examples so that our boys know what is really expected of them, and so that our girls know what kind of men to expect.
There is a lot of talk about all that women sacrifice for their children and families (and we do A LOT. Don’t get me wrong). Today, however, I want to honor all the amazing men I know who influence the world, and especially their own families, for good.
In an effort to counter the stereotypical list of idiotic things dads do, here is my list of several ways in which dads really knock it out of the park.
Five Things Dads Do Best
- Dads are fun. One day, Little Man and I were talking about his dad, and he said to me matter-of-factly “Dad is the fun one.” I wanted to be offended a little bit, but mostly it just made me happy that my boys love their dad so much (He has since told me multiple times that we are BOTH the fun ones now…although I may have inadvertently guilted him into that opinion). Moms do so much of the day to day living and teaching (and disciplining), but dads get to come home from work and just play. In our house, dad is wrestler, the piggy-back horse, the blanket monster, and the rocket launcher. My boys eagerly anticipate their evening play-time with Daddy every evening, and I love to watch and sometimes even get in on the fun when they let me.
- Dads save the day. By the end of the day, my kids and I are both kind of tired of each other. We need a new face to liven things up again. Dad saves the day by coming home and giving mom a break. Before we had kids, my husband always did the dishes. That made him a superhero to me, because washing dishes is my most loathed chore. Now, he always asks me if I want dishes or kids, and I often choose dishes so that I can have a few minutes to think by myself while he takes the boys and wrestles with them. He saves me from the chaos of kids, and he saves the boys from a CRAZY mom. See…superhero.
- Dads are great cheerleaders. My dad has always been one of my biggest supporters in everything that I do. He genuinely compliments me on qualities or skills that he sees as strengths in me and encourages me to pursue my dreams, even when I’m scared. Several years before I was married, I heard a quote about a couple whom I much admired. The woman said to her husband of 67 years, “You have always given me wings to fly, and I have loved you for it.” I hoped I would find a man who could be my wings, too. And I did. My husband has always encouraged me to learn and grow, to pursue hobbies and interests, even when it means sacrificing his own time to do that for himself. It’s in large part because of him that this blog even exists, and he’s my biggest fan. He cheers on our boys the same way. I can’t wait for the boys to be old enough to participate in sports teams (or whatever else they want to do) so I can watch their dad cheering them on from the sidelines.
- Dads make great heaters. Okay, this one is a little less change-the-world-ish, but important nevertheless. My dad is always warm. ALWAYS. When I got col as a child, I’d snuggle close to Dad in his wool sweater. He would blow on my hands and hug me to his chest until I stopped shivering. Snuggled close to my dad was my favorite place to be. My husband fills those shoes those shoes now for me, and for our boys. He’ll wrap them up in a big bear hug or zip them inside his sweatshirt when they get cold.
- Dad’s rock…or more accurately, they ARE the rock. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried into my husband’s chest, or rambled on and on in exhausted frustration about some child’s problematic “phase” that I couldn’t figure out how to solve. He lets me get it all out, and then he just holds me. He’s not an overly-emotional person, and that is SO good for me. I will never forget one evening, when I was completely overwhelmed by our son’s poor sleep habits, and my husband, ever so lovingly said to me…”You know, you may not be doing anything WRONG. There might not be anything we can DO but wait it out.” Well, that was logical, but my crazy emotional mind wouldn’t have thought of it. His even-keel nature makes him my rock to lean on every day. Our family is lucky to have such steady man to help hold us in place in this crazy world.
I’m so grateful I had an amazing father who taught me what to expect in a man. It took me longer than I wanted to find my husband, and sometimes I wondered if I would ever find the kind of man I hoped for, but now we’re raising a pretty awesome little family together, and I’m grateful for his dedication to us: for his willingness to get up at night when I’m exhausted and to change poopy diapers, for his complete adoration of these little people that we created together, and for the example he is as the kind of man I hope my boys grow up to be.
Happy Father’s Day to all you men out there who do your best to support your families however you can!
Do you have an amazing father in your life? What does he do best?
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