Here’s to the Dads

Dads Are Often Out Of The Spotlight

Dads. For the most part, they are out of the spotlight in this business of parenting. 

I don’t mean to suggest they don’t have very big or important parts, I just mean that they tend to not get much of the attention. That seems to be reserved for us Moms. We grow our precious babies in our bodies, often breastfeed them and – whether we stay home to raise them or not – we tend to take on more of the nurturing aspect of parenting. This puts more of the focus on us. 

More To The Dad Story

Painting Dads as having a supporting role doesn’t show the whole picture. 

Yes they support us when they cannot do those things that only we can do. But they deserve so much more credit. Peruse Mom (and Dad!) Instagram accounts and you will find countless glimpses of just how much Dads really do. 

My own experience from many years ago when my kids were babies lines right up with these. David was the only one with me in the delivery room both times (minus my midwife and nurses). During his leave from work, he was a true partner – he got up with me in the night for feedings, changed many diapers, brought in food for us so I didn’t have to cook and got up early with them on weekend mornings so I could sleep or rest. The diapers and weekend morning duty continued after he returned to work. 

We all know Dads who do the cooking or the laundry. Dads who handle bath time or bedtime (or share in that often involved activity). 

Silly Game.JPG

David invented “Bear Game” and “Bumpus” – two nighttime activities he and our kids adored! This fun involved lots of rough-housing like bears (Bear Game) and jumping on the bed while David shook the blankets (Bumpus). 

There are the sports Dads, the ones who accompany their kids to sports or even coach the teams. Some Dads are the ones who help with homework, or share their child’s love of certain movies or video games. 

Bottom line – Dads are involved – sometimes in ways that may not be as visible – but they are meaningful parts of the picture. 

Shortly after Thanksgiving, I overheard a dad talking to a friend in Target. What he said, and the emotion in his voice when he said it, really struck me. It was apparent he was talking about his college son. The part I caught was, “Yeah, at least it’s only 2 weeks till he’ll be home again.” And the look on his face was priceless…so much “missing” and love. 

I was especially moved because we (collectively) are very aware of how hard it is on Moms when their babies are away from home, but don’t often think about this in relation to Dads. Just because they might not have the lead role in parenting doesn’t mean that they aren’t as deeply committed with their hearts and souls. 

Dads were once the center of our lives — before we went from “couple” to “family”. 

Moms go from wife to Mama with an almost instinctual immersion in our new baby – physically, hormonally, mentally and emotionally. Dads don’t have the physical or hormonal component and their transition isn’t always as seamless. 

“Couple” life was simpler – wrapped up in eachother, friends, work. Suddenly there is little time or energy for those luxuries, and Dads can get sidelined when we are exhausted, emotionally spent and “touched out” from Baby nursing or toddlers attached at the hip. 

It’s an adjustment for both of us, but especially Dads. With time we find balance, and Dads feel cherished again, but they forever share that space with our babies.

So here’s to the Dads – they deserve some of the spotlight, too.

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