A Tribute to Daddy

Have you thanked a dad today? Your dad? The father of your child or children? None of them are saints. They all make mistakes. Like us, moms, they aren’t the best parents 100% of the time. If you’re like me, you’re pretty good at pointing out those times. Father’s Day is an excellent occasion to give dads a break from that and to instead honor them with the praise and appreciation they deserve for the things they do right.

Last week, I shared the process I use to make meaningful cards for the people I love. I also promised I would share the card I was going to make this Father’s Day for my husband. In today’s post, you can see the cover of the card and some of the sentiments I included inside about why I’m thankful for him.

Before he was the father of our son

I remember years ago the first time my husband showed me a picture of his son (who is now my stepson). It was a picture of him in his high chair with spaghetti sauce all over his face. As he held it and looked at it himself as he showed it to me, I could see the fatherly love in his eyes. I’ve witnessed that so much through the years.

When I first started dating my husband, some of my friends and family warned me about marrying someone who already had a child. I never found it to be much of a problem. In fact, I thought it better that I got to witness firsthand what he was like as a dad—in case one day we would have kids ourselves. After seeing what kind of parent he was, I felt more confident about the idea of marrying him and having a child of our own together.

I’ve not been disappointed. Even before Jacob was born, he’s been a good father to him by being a good husband to me. While I was pregnant, he made sure I had hot fudge sundaes, foot massages, baingan bharta (the food I craved most–it’s an Indian dish of eggplant and spices), and all the right pillows for my lopsided body. During childbirth, he spoon-fed me ice chips, held my knees while I pushed, and told off the doctor who wasn’t listening to my requests.

After the birth of our son

After my c-section, my husband slept on the couch next to me downstairs for weeks when I was too sore to go up the steps, just so I didn’t have to be alone all night. And, he took over all the housework and needs of my stepson (now in 2nd grade) when I was too exhausted and sore to do all the things I used to do. I’m thankful for those times.

And, I’m thankful for him being okay with being number two to Jacob. I know it hasn’t been easy that many times over the last year, all Jacob has wanted is mom. I know it was hard for dad, even though I insisted that it had nothing to do with him and everything to do with Jacob’s comfort with my smell and voice after being inside me for over nine months, not to mention that my breasts supplied his sole source of nutrition for the first half of his life. Still, my husband brought me water and snacks when I was nursing, woke with me during the night even when Jacob wanted nothing but ma’s milk, and took over when I needed a break, even though Jacob sometimes resisted a little.

My husband’s work schedule has allowed him to stay home during many of the days while I’m at work full time. Sometimes I feel resentful, and I complain. Yet, I know some of his days at home with Jacob are harder than mine at the office. As if soothing a baby’s tears and now chasing an energetic toddler around aren’t enough, he’s devoted so much time and energy to following all my detailed requests for what to do with my breast milk, how to introduce solid foods, when and when not to give him a pacifier, and other miscellaneous recommendations I’ve made based on what I think is best. I’m grateful to have a husband who respects my opinions and follows my lead, but who also questions me when he disagrees.

How we complement each other as parents

My husband is definitely the silly one, while I’m the one with all the rules and structure. But, he will take a break from the goofiness and giggles to be serious and enforce my rules when he knows it’s important to me. He livens up our house with his singing and playing guitar, spends long evenings making games out of Jackson’s homework after my patience is gone, and then sings Jacob to sleep each night when he just won’t relax for me. I’m thankful for those things.

I may be most grateful for the way my husband supports me to be a better mom. He deals with all my hormone- and stress-related mood swings and psycho moments, and understands when I want to go to the gym to relieve my tension, and or go out with my friends to vent. And, he’s not too hard on me when I haven’t been the mom I want to be. We both recognize our mistakes and work on them together, knowing neither of us are perfect parents, but that we help each other to become better.

As much as I make demands and complain, I try to balance it out with affection and gratitude–today, because it’s Father’s Day–but other days too…because every day he makes me proud to be married to the wonderful dad and husband he is.

That’s the essence of what my card to my husband said.

Now, it’s your turn. Go thank a dad.

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Posted on June 19, 2011, in Parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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