It is often our baby’s first word: DADA!!
Dads are our rock. They are often the calm in the storm. The ones who catapult flying kids into the air, push them to conquer fears. Yes, dads are pretty amazing!! I’ll bet most of us have a special dad or male figure in our life we can celebrate this Father’s Day! But I wonder sometimes how much space we moms leave for dads to be great dads?
Did I Leave Room?
I am guilty of it, too. I had a very specific way I wanted my babies to be swaddled. Nap time had to be at just the right time each day and the baby had to eat the perfect number of ounces from their bottle! So…
And I watched like a hawk…
Questioned the every move of my husband…
I didn’t mean to, but did my watchful eyes and questioning tone send the message that I thought my husband did not have what it takes to care for our child?
Did I accidentally convey he wasn’t a great dad?
I wonder… did I leave space for my husband to be a great dad? Because he is a FABULOUS dad… when I let him be.
We Have To Let Go and Let Them Be Dads
I get it!!! We love those babies of ours!! We carried around that precious bundle of joy for 9 months and labored for God only knows how many hours! So it is only natural that we worry and overthink and want the best. But did we ever let it sink in that the dads of those sweet babies want all that too.
As moms, we wanted to figure it out and trust our instincts to care for our babies. We have to let dads do the same!
Dads Parent Differently and That’s Good
Sure they might put on a diaper backward here and there. They may let them run naked in the backyard and forget to wipe the spaghetti sauce off their face. Your little girl’s hair might be sticking up in 12
different ways and his idea of an outfit for your son is a PJ shirt with clashing shorts and rain boots. But none of this is dangerous. It does not mean they love them any less.
And it certainly does not mean they are not wonderful, caring, loving GREAT dads!
And because dads can oftentimes be more laid back and not stress as much, they sure can make life fun for our kids. I asked some friends to share some of their best stories from when dad is on duty!
Dads On Duty: Oh the Memories, Oh the Fun!!!
“Every Saturday, my mom had to work, so my dad watched my sister and I. This is when GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) was popular. So our tradition was that morning, we would wake up, go get donuts, and watch GLOW on TV. We’d learn some new moves before taking apart all the beds and moving all the mattresses into the living room to use as our wrestling mat. We’d be asleep for the night before my mom even got home from work. She never understood how my dad could put us to bed so early and we’d stay asleep. She didn’t know that she had wrestling superstars every Saturday until years later.” – Jennifer L.
“When mom is away is when we do the “fun” (i.e. dangerous) stuff!” – Joel T.
“My husband cut the onesie off after an explosive diaper.” -Colette B.
“One time, my husband had a job interview. He dropped off my daughter at a friend’s house while he went to the interview. I picked up my 2 year old daughter and noticed she was only wearing a shirt. A little puzzled, I asked my friend where the rest of my daughters clothes were (her Capri pants). My friend said she arrived like that and just figured daddy struggled a little bit getting out of the door. When I got home, I found the pants in the same place I had laid them out. I asked my husband why he didn’t finish dressing her before taking her to the friend’s house. He was legit confused. After I explained that it was a two piece outfit, he said he wondered why “the dress” seemed so short. He chalked it up to a growth spurt. -Darcy M.
“Allison was on a 17 day trip to Kenya and Uganda when the kids were younger. I was pretty proud of how I had managed it all during the whole time. When we went to pick her up at the airport, I got the kids all dressed and ready, we made signs, etc. When she saw us, she came running over. Gave the kids a hug. And then when she hugged me, she whispered in my ear, “Why is Kate wearing Isaac’s boxers?” I had no idea. They looked like her shorts to me.” -Mike G.
“The last time I had a girls weekend (in Iowa), my husband offered to take the boys to Disney — either California OR Florida. What?!? They smartly declined, saying 2 days wasn’t really enough time for Disney. So they went to Elitch Gardens Amusement Park instead.” – Ashley H.
“My oldest has to get shots. It is so hard for me to be there when they do that, so I got my husband to take him. I mentioned that after I usually buy him a treat. When they got home, my husband said it was so much more traumatic than he expected, but my son was smiling because the “treat” was two new video games. I shook my head and said I meant a .99 ice cream cone.” -Jen T.
We Love You!
We may not say it enough, but we sure love you! The way you make our kids giggle, help them slay monsters, show them how to build the best fort, and be their gentle, caring dad. We are working on giving you space because we already know YOU ARE GREAT DADS!
LEAVE A SHOUT-OUT TO THE DAD IN YOUR LIFE! AND WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR MORE “DADS ON DUTY” STORIES!