Imperfectly Perfect Fatherhoodby Elizabeth MacDonald
Dads may not empty the dishwasher often enough, or make it home before dinner every night. Dads may teach ridiculous behaviors like passing gas on your sibling. Dads may write the wrong month, day, or year for a birthday on paperwork – or even forgot how you decided to spell a middle name at some point. Dads may never attend the well check-ups or even most of the sick visits. Dads may fall asleep before the kids every.single.time they attempt bedtime. Dads may not notice the new masterpiece finger painted artwork hanging up each week. Dads may not know whose clothes are whose – or what drawers hold what clothes. Dads may not be able to take off work for every field day, field trip, or school party. Dads may need to be reminded to be ‘present’ sometimes.
But What CAN Dads Do?Dads tag-in when they walk in the door from work so mom can sneak out the front door for a run. Dads alternate sleeping-in on weekend mornings with Mom. They let her sleep as long as possible and have breakfast ready when she wakes us. Dads can throw kids in the car and survive an adventure with nothing but an extra diaper packed. Dads teach things in ways moms naturally don’t. Dads are not babysitters. Dads naturally instill a sense of confidence, independence, and leadership in their children. Dads take off work for ballet recitals and karate tournaments. They leave early to watch swim team try-outs. Dads plan the greatest camping trips, and pack the car like a perfectly constructed jigsaw puzzle. Dads celebrate anything that Mom mentions is a big deal… because big things mean something different to every child. Dads pick up a case of wine for mom on their way home from work if they’ve had to put in longer hours that week. Dads splurge on special things like bikes, fishing poles, and princess dresses. Dads share their hobbies -and teach life lessons through them. Dads bring a different perspective to the day. Dads know when Mom is about to lose it, and possibly lets her get just close enough before stepping in. Dads hold hands crossing the street. Dads wear their babies, rock their babies, and carry their babies for hours on end. Dads change bedsheets in the middle of the night when someone wets the bed (the bed that he is sleeping in). Dads send you directions to the nearest urgent care facility, and then meet you there when a child needs his head glued back together. Dads create the best games, that even though make absolutely no sense – make perfect sense to kids. Dads take kids on ridiculous donut dates that Mom would never allow. Dads cannonball into freezing pool temperatures because the kids want someone to play with. Dads dig the biggest holes, build the best castles, and swim to the farthest sand bars at the beach. Dads wrestle. Dads scoop up babies in the middle of the night to snuggle with them so no one sleeps alone. Dads know that they are not Mom, and when they need to ask for Mom’s help. To every imperfectly perfect dad out there. Thank you. For everything that drives us moms crazy, there are a dozen things that make us fall in love with you all over again. You are doing a wonderful job, and you are appreciated. "It sucks and it's awesome all at the same time. Parenting is really hard, and it can get really crazy, but then I look at them and think you're mine and you're pretty cool."
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