You know, I see a lot of inspiring and supportive articles in my newsfeed for mamas. I saw some great reminders over Christmas for example, that warned mothers to say no to too many commitments and to focus on simplicity and being present. I see uplifting images and quotes inspiring us to keep going even if we feel we're not doing enough or we're not the perfect mothers.
I wanted to email them to him but many of the talking points don't apply to a WOHD who isn't pregnant or lactating lol. I just wish he could see himself, and see how amazingly hard he works. I want him to realize that it's not about the big things. I can see his dedication and love in the little details. Like the way he lights up when he finds out we're having a baby.
The way he sets out his work clothes on the couch the night before and dresses out there so he doesn't disturb sleeping kids.
The way he takes the trash with him on his way out so that I don't have to deal with it.
The way he wakes up a few minutes earlier and leaves sooner so he can clean snow off my van.
The way he listens to my ideas about frugality and eco living.
The way he cleans up after birth, and cleans the placenta and makes placenta smoothies.
The way he leaves the last snack on the shelf for me even though he's the one who needs it during his grueling work day.
The way he silently does the dishes every evening.
The way gets home from work and immediately jumps in to help, even though transitions are hard and he deserves a break.
The way he traces my stretch marks with his fingers and says they're amazing.
The way he agreed to cloth diapering even though he was tired of years of cloth diapering growing up in a big family.
When he knows which cup each child wants and takes the time to line them up at a meal.
When he studies environmental concerns ruthlessly to protect his family.
When he gets down on the floor and builds block castles with the kids.
When he takes the time to make each child feel special and to be there.
When he designed his learning time lessons and blew my homeschooling themes out of the water with such activities as building a computer and exploring robotics.
When he's had a bad day, and he's tired and worn out but takes the kids to a jump house and tells me to go hang out with girlfriends.
When he patiently listens to me describe baby poop details over the phone at work. And has input.
When he volunteers to clean up the dog diarrhea, vomit, chewed up toys...
|(I'll spare you the details.)|
Every time he makes it to church on Sunday even though it's using up his lunch break, and he swoops in to grab DS2 at just the right moment before toddler meltdown.
Every time the kids test his patience with squabbling and he doles out hugs and guides them.
Every time a kid has tired legs and he carries them.
Each time I've kneeled in the birth pool and cried that I can't, and he said that I can.
And then his look of instant adoration when he catches them.
His way of wrestling with the boys.
His ability to listen to DD's never ending dialogue.
His electronic knowledge to combat my electronic chaos.
His way of making grilled cheese sandwiches gourmet.
His way of being playful and joining in the fun with the kids.
How he never forgets to lock the van.
How he takes the time to chase rabbits with the kids.
How he patiently helped me get out of bed, get dressed, shower, etc when I had bad sciatic pain during pregnancy.
How he installed a new carseat, then went back out to double check that it was installed correctly.
How he tucked the baby into his shirt when he forgot to wear the ergo.
If only he could realize that he does so well as a dad, and that it's ok to live simply and to be boring because in the end, those moments he spent playing dress up or trying out DD's new cake pop machine are way more important than dressing up in expensive clothing and going to a fancy restaurant.
The times spent out in the woods looking at trees and flowers are more fulfilling than remembering to bring me a bouquet. His concern about our health and wellbeing is better than buying me a bar of organic chocolate. His voice as he sings to the kids at night is more wonderful than any holiday card.
Dads, if you are caught up in a feeling of insecurity, worrying that you aren't good enough as a father or partner...go home to your family and be there for them. Be present in the little moments. Cook together. Set up a marioland obstacle course with pillows. Hug your partner and hold the baby while she takes a bath. You are more valuable to your family than you think. Don't try to find big, amazing things to do; be there in the moment and love them in all the little ways.