It’s the third Sunday in June and the grass is green, the US open is in full swing, and Dad’s across the country are waking up to messy hand printed pun crafts in their honor. I have been thinking about what I wanted to say to my husband and father of our three young boys, to let him know how I really feel about him and his relationship with our three children.
Across the country in Facebook groups, coffee shops, and in workrooms alike – women for as long as I’ve known them complain about their husbands. Chiding them on their subpar parenting skills, lack of attention with cleaning or remembering details of their kid’s lives. Being too engrossed in their own adult life to turn into their children basic needs of lunch and a diaper change. Chortling over their inability to feed the kid’s dinner and get them to bed ‘properly’ when Mom has to go out for the night. And how the saying should really be changed from, “I slept like a baby”, to I slept like a husband. Adding their husband in as an additional child when discussing family dynamics, because after all, although he is a grown man, who can’t take care of himself. Demeaning comments, undermining the collective ability of fathers to adequately parent their children. Well not me.
I refuse to engage in the stereotypical female banter of husband bashing. I just won’t do it. It’s just not nice, and for me, it’s just not true. I feel for those wives who truly don’t have someone in their house who pulls their weight with the daily monotony of life, but I am not that woman. I have a husband who, like me, works long hours, and still rushes home and without a spare second to himself turns into an engaged parent until the daily chaos of supper, playtime, bath time, bedtime has finished. I have a husband who cleans, and does laundry (so much better than me- I’ll admit it), and cuts lawns, and works out, and sometimes if he can carve out some time for himself plays golf. But the one thing he will not do is babysit.
Never. Not once, ever, in four years has he ever babysat our three sons. Seriously. We have three boys; an almost four year old and 16 month old twins and not a day in his whole damn life has he EVER babysat them. And you know why? Because he’s their father, and damn straight he doesn’t “babysit” his own kids. He just watches and parents his kids like any other night of the week, whether he has me there or not.
Could you imagine, as a mother, if when your husband went out – you were looked at with distrust and wide eyes, “Ahh, good luck Mom! How will you manage this without Dad around?” or “Ah, Mom’s babysitting the kids tonight because Daddy finally gets some time to himself because she’s always out.” What if a total stranger approached you at the park and said, “Stuck babysitting tonight?”, because that must be the only explanation for you spending one-on-one time with your children without your husband with you? Sounds like bullshit doesn’t it. Well, that’s because it absolutely is.
So to the Daddy’s, who are just like the Mommy’s but probably a hell of a lot cooler. Who say yes to the too big ice cream cones and Doritos before dinner. Who have patience for days when three little monsters crawl all over him with the risk of getting a black eye or a kick to the nuts at any moment. Who make the memories that childhood are made out of with infamous with daddy swings, water gun battles, trips to suplex city, and horsey rides. Who in spontaneous moments of pure love, give nosey-noses and pinch cheekie-cheekies with the dedication of a stereotypical TV grandmother. Who give the best blast-off rocket ship rides to the ceilings. Who kiss boo-boos and stick paw patrol band-aids on the war wounds of childhood, and read the best bedtime stories. Who never miss the opportunity for Daddy cuddles, and watching their child contently fall asleep beside them. Who get up to fill that glass of milk one more time, and never get to eat a hot and peaceful dinner. Who give the time-outs and put toys in the naughty box. Who change disgusting diapers, and rock cranky babies in the middle of the night. Who follow through with the tough lessons, through the tears and the tantrums. Who instill morals and ethics daily into their children by modeling compassion and love and hard work. Who refuse to take a back seat to this amazing job of parenting, because these are your children and are the mini-versions of your heart beating out side of your body. Who have the most special bond with these sweet little monsters who destroy your house daily but fill your heart with the most immeasurable amount of love you have ever known. Who do not babysit because these are your damn children and you are not some teenager getting paid to watch netflicks while the kids sleep.
So today on Father’s Day – lets honor those wonderful husbands and fathers and give them the respect they deserve.
To my incredible husband, who is such an outstanding father. Who works tirelessly day and night, by my side, as we raise our three boys together. Who deserves just as much respect as any mama, because you are a damn fantastic Daddy. I hope you feel all the love we have for you today, and that you get a peaceful couple of hours to watch the back nine of the US open or maybe some of the soccer game with a nice cold beer and a bowl of Doritos that you don’t have to share. Ah, who am I kidding, the only way that’s going to happen is if we get a babysitter.