In the blog-o-sphere there are countless posts about motherhood, becoming a mom, first time moms, single moms, struggles of being a mom—you name it, heck, I’ve written one. And I hope these all continue. I think bringing light to motherhood and sharing our stories is so empowering, connecting us as a tribe.

But I think it’s time to say thank you to the wonderful fathers who make parenting together so joyous. I know they sometimes leave the toilet seat up, leave their junk around the house, and get too obsessed with fantasy football—but they deserve some gratitude, too. (Just promise to work on the toilet seat thing, OK guys?)

1. He Deals with Pregnant You
While being pregnant is a beautiful thing, let’s get real: it’s also not so beautiful at times. They have to handle all the mood swings, raging hormones, unexpected tears—while also dealing with cravings, aversions, nesting ideas, projects, anxiety, and the general unexpected. Plus, they’re around for the “morning” sickness (that comes really any time of day), groaning about being uncomfortable and tired all the time. They deserve a hand for loving us through those moments, and staying around even when we yell, “This is YOUR fault!” when not enjoying the pregnancy glow (sweat).

2. He Doesn’t Get Paternity Leave
Now, I’m not talking to you dads who work at magical places that give you several weeks or even actual paternity leave, because if this describes you, you probably live in Europe. I realize sometimes dads get to take time off from work after their wives have babies, but usually it isn’t equivalent to what mothers get. I know dads do not need to recover physically from the whole pushing out a baby thing, but they do deserve time with their newborn babies. They don’t get the required six weeks. Usually, if they get any time off it is unpaid and requires them to use vacation or sick days. So, here’s a shout out to you. We recognize you deserve to be included in our maternity time, so we can spend it as a family. Thank you for taking the time you can to help us start this motherhood journey, whether it’s the first time or the fourth.

3. He Handles ‘Guy’ Stuff
Not all houses are like this, but typically the dads get to do manly tasks to keep everything up and running. I mean, heaven forbid, we ladies should break a nail or something. At our house this means my husband takes care of the car maintenance, clearing the walk, killing the bugs, mowing and watering the grass, taking out the trash, and filling the water softener with salt. I don’t even know where our water softener is. And again—they kill the bugs! Can you imagine having to do that yourself? You guys really need a trophy for this one.

4. He Does the Heavy Lifting
I don’t know about yours, but my husband can be compared to that of a pack mule. What would take me two or three trips to carry the groceries with my weakling arms, he manages to do in one trip, with one arm. Dads “get” the wonderful privilege of unloading our groceries, carrying our bags when we go shopping, lifting objects around the house, handling large items when moving, and opening the jars we somehow cannot. Don’t forget they usually get to lug around our babies in their carseats on top of everything else! Keep up all the lifting, bros.

5. He Gives You Time for Yourself
Being a mom is overwhelming, wonderful, amazing, difficult, and perfect. But, sometimes we need to step away from the jam-covered kiddos and get a little time to ourself. It’s crazy that after you have a baby you kind of lose your identity in that. Great dads step in and make sure we don’t forget who we are outside of motherhood. My husband makes sure I get time for myself and spends time alone with our baby to let me get out. He’s made sure I can go workout, or get pampered, or run errands, or go for a walk—whatever it is, he makes sure I still get to be myself. Dads help encourage you, spoil you, compliment you, love you, romance you, and make sure you continue to pursue your dreams and find your piece of happiness.

6. He Is Your Partner in Crime
Sometimes this means they help you get away with eating your kids’ Halloween candy, but most of the time it means that dads are there with you through it all. Thanks to the dads who are there by our sides and on our sides through the thick and thin. The good and the bad. Through the tantrums, the terrible twos, the teenage angst, the flu seasons, the wrinkles, and the gray hairs. Thanks for being there to laugh with, talk to, and cry on. We can’t imagine going through this adventure with anyone else.

7. He Made You a Mom
Your husbands gave you the greatest gift of all: your child(ren). Even if they don’t like changing diapers, or struggle to dress your kid in matching clothing, whether they are involved a little or a lot in discipline and parenting – they still made you moms. They helped create that little human that lights up your day and brings joy to your heart. Seasoned fathers and new dads alike: we thank you for bringing life into the world. To you, we give our gratitude and love.

Blair Cissell

Blair Cissell is trying to figure out this whole "adulting" thing. She is a fairly recent college graduate, is married to the man of her dreams & just had (in her opinion) the cutest baby in the world. She has left the full time work force temporarily for baby, and is figuring out this whole stay-at-home-mom life. Writing has always been a passion, that she uses to express her (limited) experience on love, relationships, parenthood and growing-up while exploring the beauty & power of words.