My son’s kindergarten teacher uses a fabulous app called Seesaw. (No, this is not a sponsored post). The kids post to it during class as part of their learning center project. During the day, I get notices of the work my son has done while at school. It isn’t uncommon that his recording will end with, “I love you mom!” Of course, I love getting these notices as it warms my heart. My husband, on the other hand, feels like he’s chopped liver. This led to a discussion between my husband and me as he pointed out that this type of thing happens frequently. He gave examples of a sports player who might get two seconds of camera time and uses it to mouth the words, “Hi mom!” and how I get Mother’s Day gifts made for me at school but none are made for Father’s Day. I started paying more attention and realized that moms do tend to get more credit. With Father’s Day quickly approaching I want to say, “Dear Dads: You Most Definitely Matter.”
I’m guessing one reason why moms have gotten more warm fuzzies from their children is because traditionally, we are seen as the nurturers in the family. We may have unwittingly acculturated our children to do this. Thankfully, times are changing, albeit not quickly enough in my book. Men are now being supported and encouraged to thrive in this role as well. I can’t tell you how much it irks me to see a meme or tweet that is disparaging to dads. As if they are just a babysitter or an inept parenting fixture. If we don’t want to encourage mom shaming and judgmental attitudes towards women, then how does it benefit anyone to cut down dads? Their role in the family is important and it most definitely matters.
There are so many things that my husband does for our kids. It makes me sad to think that, even for a minute, he would feel that our children would value me over him. While he absolutely knows the kids adore him, it still stings a bit when he doesn’t get the occasional acknowledgment the way I do. It has occurred to me that I might need to do a better job at role modeling the importance of showing love and gratitude to those we admire and hold dear to us. More specifically…to him. Perhaps I need to double my efforts in helping the kids be mindful that a thank you note or a simple card or picture on a random day can mean so much to the receiver. I will do this because his role in our lives most definitely matters.
During our discussion, I let him know they ask for him when they wake up in the morning and are bummed when he has left for work already. I explained that he is their hero when it comes to fixing anything that is broken. I remind him that he is the one who has endless amounts of patience when he is trying to get something done in the garage and they request to hammer nails into a random piece of wood. I admit that he has thrown countless baseballs to our son long after I bailed out. I tell him that he is the one who is silly and will play or wrestle with them. More importantly, I thank him for doing all of those things because his role in our lives most definitely matters.
As Father’s Day approaches, I will remind myself how lucky I am to have a loving and compassionate friend as my husband and a father to our kids. I will remind myself that it is important to take precious moments in life to show how much he means to me, while role modeling my love and commitment to him in front of kids. I will encourage the kids to show him, as well as all those they love and appreciate, to be mindful of how important it is to express ourselves in this way to others. I will do this because his role in our lives most definitely matters. In truth, we all matter.
And maybe, there will be that moment on an app or perhaps a rare TV opportunity when we hear, “Hi Mom AND Dad!” Because let’s be honest, it would sting a little to just hear, “I love you Dad!”
Next on the blog: I’ll be heading to Worlds of Fun the weekend before Father’s Day to enjoy their 2nd annual World Food and Wine Festival. I will be a #WOFFirstTimer. We will be sampling amazing local and international wines which will be paired with fantastic cuisine. It is sure to be a fabulous time! Beside, what could go wrong with roller coasters and wine sampling? 😉
Did you know that we published two amazing books? Check them out!