You tend to get a bad rap. Shows and movies always portray you as the idiot guy who doesn’t know how to cook a meal or who is terrified to change your baby’s diaper. They show you helpless without mom, trashing the house just trying to survive one night of babysitting your own kids.
But all of us moms want you to know something important—you’re rocking it, and we take notice.
The times you clean up the table and dishes after dinner—we see that. We might not acknowledge your help every time (sorry about that) but that is probably because we are so upset that the kids didn’t eat the meal we bothered to prepare. We are worried about their lacking nutrition. We are tired from fighting the picky toddler to take at least one bite so it wasn’t all in vain.We are focused on the next task (bedtime routine) and we forget to stop and specifically say, “Thank you for cleaning up.” But when everything is finally settled down, the kids are in bed and we finish using the toilet alone for the first time that day, we realize what you’ve done. When we have that moment of panic thinking we forgot to put the food away and now our meal really is wasted, it feels amazing to realize that you had thought of it already and took care of it without being asked.
When you take out the trash without a second thought, even though we’ve been home all day and could have done it ourselves—we see that. You start bundling it up mid-conversation and don’t miss a beat as you take it outside for us. You don’t bat an eye when we hand you the new bag for the can instead of thank you right away for what you just did. But please know that we see it, and are grateful for it, and we will eventually remember to thank you for it.
When you patiently listen to how our day went, even though it’s just details about a gross poopy diaper or friends your kid plays with that you don’t even know—we see that. You’re tired from talking to people at work and you just walked in the door. You probably want to sit down and relax for a second, not being needed from anyone for just a short moment. But instead, you see your frazzled wife and choose to actively listen to complaints and rants. You nod encouragingly, offer advice when needed, and we appreciate your immediate care and attention.
When you read book after book to our kids, changing your voice to make them giggle, you are not only giving me a little break, but you’re making me fall in love with you all over again. Reading to our kids isn’t something we tend to remember to thank you for, but it really is something you’re rocking at.
When you genuinely don’t understand why getting up with the baby so we can sleep in is that big of a deal because you enjoy doing it–we see that. Your lack of grumbles and complaints help us realize how much you love your role as father and shows us we shouldn’t apologize when needing to ask for your help. That’s pretty amazing and we won’t ever take that for granted, even if we forget to reciprocate or verbally acknowledge your help.
When you thank us every night for the meal we prepared, the chores we completed, and the kids we kept alive—we see that. Even if it seems like we brush off your appreciations as no big deal, this acknowledgment is valued and very much needed. We know it’s our job but it’s still nice to hear you say we are rocking motherhood. That praise will help keep us going through the next day.
And just like you know it’s your job to be an involved father and spouse who does all these things without necessarily needing to be asked, it’s still nice for you to hear some praise, too. So here we are as one big collective message from the moms of this world, in case you need it because we forget to say it out loud sometimes—Thank you. You’re rocking this dad position and we want you to know your efforts to do your part are seen and respected. You may still have a few blubbering moments like the movies show, but we have similar mom moments, and it’s nice to know we have an equal partner in this crazy parenting life!
Happy Father’s Day!