In honor of Father’s Day, I want to talk about all the reasons why my husband is not a goofy, bumbling caricature dad like you see in commercials, TV shows, and movies. You know the stereotype–he tries to make the kids lunch but he doesn’t know where mom keeps the lunch boxes; he forgets to pick Sally up from ballet AGAIN; he dresses Stevie in shorts even though it’s winter; when he actually goes to the grocery store, he doesn’t know where to find anything; he uses bleach on the dark load. Oh, silly dad–what else can you expect from him!? This article and this article talk about the obnoxious phenomenon way better than I ever could.
Personally, I don’t really know many dads that fit this stereotype. I know there are plenty of less-than-stellar dads out there in the world, but most of the dads I know are involved, compassionate, capable partners, and caretakers. They aren’t silly and unhelpful fools. Of course, overall there’s still an imbalance in women taking on more work in the home even when taking on more work outside of the home–the “second shift” scenario. As a society we’ve got some work to do, but that’s a topic that can fill its own blog post (or book).
I know there are plenty of less-than-stellar dads out there in the world, but most of the dads I know are involved, compassionate, capable partners, and caretakers. They aren’t silly and unhelpful fools.
The bumbling dad stereotype is so pervasive though, that people can’t help but to bring it up in conversation naturally. When I was going out of town for my now sister-in-law’s bachelorette party and people curiously asked, “Where will Kate be!?” I said, “Home with my husband.” People responded with varying degrees of, “Do you think he can handle it?!” and “Are you worried?!” and “Do you think it will go OK?!”
Of course I wasn’t worried! He’s Kate’s parent! So in honor of Father’s Day, here are eight reasons why my husband is the most capable and excellent dad ever.
8 Reasons My Husband is the Best Dad Ever
1. He’s the most fun parent on the planet.
He brings a lot of laughter and much needed levity to the mundane-ness of everyday life.
2. He’s the most patient person ever.
The frustrations of toddlerhood (refusing to wear shoes, refusing to eat dinner, getting covered in chalk) can get me a little worked up. He’s a calming force that tells me to just relax, breathe, and remember that everything eventually will pass. He is my reasonable and sane counterpart, who keeps me in check when I get into out-of-control WebMD spirals about if Kate is meeting all the right “milestones.”
3. If it wasn’t for him we would all starve or have a carb-exclusive diet.
He is a master in the kitchen whether you want him to make you homemade sushi or a crème brulee. Anyone that knows me knows that when left to my own devices I ONLY make spaghetti or order Jimmy Johns.
4. He’s a master at bedtime.
I’m convinced that no one else on earth can convince a feisty toddler that it really is time for bed better than my husband can.
5. He’s the best road trip partner.
He always does all of the driving, which is awesome, because I hate driving long distances and I just get to sit in the passenger seat and nap.
6. He keeps our financial life together.
I can be frivolous and have a (very) frequent tendency to overspend. He keeps our financial goals on track the best he can considering how often I seem to derail them.
7. He’s got a strong enough stomach to handle a lot of ickyness.
I’ve seen him tackle some diaper disasters that I can’t even write about without starting to feel nauseous.
8. But mostly, he’s my biggest ally.
When I had Kate it was always my plan to come back to work and to finish the MBA I had started. He’s always been the first person cheering me on and encouraging me to go after my goals. Between everything I want to do, I can be out of the house a decent amount but his involvement and unwavering support keeps everything moving along at home when I’m not there.
So, happy Father’s Day to my wonderful co-parent. You are just as much in the trenches as I am, handling potty training, tummy aches, tantrums, and trips to the park. You are a dad who doesn’t expect applause or praise for changing a diaper or putting Kate down for a nap, because you know these are just everyday parenting duties that we both should be handling.
The posts I linked to above talk about the phenomenon of dad being portrayed as an “accessory to parenting,” but in our family, being a parent has never just been your part-time gig. Not everyone is as lucky to have such a great coparent, and Kate and I appreciate everything that you do.
We are so grateful to all the fabulous dads out there! Happy Father’s Day!