I’m posting this a few days after Father’s Day, because I spent that day WITH the dads in my life, plus I needed some time to reflect on how special they are!
Scrolling through my Facebook news feed on the morning of Father’s Day, I felt warm fuzzies seeing all the posts dedicated to dads everywhere – new dads, fur dads, old dads, dads who have passed and so on. After all, it’s a bit of a milestone for both my partner and my own dad – first Father’s Day as a dad, and first Father’s Day as a grandfather. So I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of fathers, their role, and how special they are, in the last couple of days.
But something wasn’t sitting quite right with me as I read over these declarations of love. So many of them had qualifiers in them.
“You’re never quite on time, but you’re such a loving dad.”
“You sometimes put a diaper on backwards, and the outfits you pick out are kind of goofy, but we love you anyway.”
“Though he’s a tad forgetful at times – you will never meet a better Dad than this guy!”
Why do we feel the need to make the fathers in our lives seem inferior? Over the last couple of decades, western culture has made huge strides in making it acceptable to be an engaged dads. We don’t bat an eye when a dad pushes a stroller or wears baby in a carrier. We proclaim “it’s not babysitting, it’s parenting!” when anyone smirks at dad being home with the kids while mom is out doing something else. We’ve fought so hard for equality – for both sides – so why are we undoing it by knocking dads down a peg? Do you really want the dad in your life to feel like he’s not good enough? After all, if he isn’t good enough, why bother trying? Might as well leave the parenting up to mom.
Instead, let’s be our dads’ biggest fans. Let’s unconditionally, passionately support them, and yell out from the rooftops why they’re so great. And just maybe, we can change the narrative:
“He is the absolute best at rocking baby to sleep when she’s fussy.”
“You won’t find a better coach out there – motivating and talking up his kids every single day.”
“You love your son fiercely, and for that I love you.”
Thank you to the dads in my life. Everything is better because you’re here.