It’s often thought that mothers are the glue that holds their families together. That without them things would fall apart. Women tend to be in charge of taking care of the children, tending to the home, doing the grocery shopping, and cooking. Many women do this as stay-at-home mothers. Other women do this on top of maintaining careers. But women often get so much credit that fathers are often overlooked.

Fathers also carry a heavy load and sometimes it may go unnoticed or unappreciated. They work long hours and live with the heavy burden of providing financially for their family. They live with a constant fear of what-ifs.

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What if I lost my job?
What if I couldn’t provide for my family?
How would I put food on the table?
How would we keep up with the mortgage and bills?

Fathers work long hours only to come home exhausted and do it all again the next day.

When I was a young girl, I never realized how much my father worked. I realized he was gone a lot, but I never actually thought about how much work he put into keeping our family afloat.

Now I’m a grown woman with a family of my own, and I often look back at my childhood and all of the things my father did for my family, things I may not have realized or appreciated back then. When my father wasn’t working, he was constantly attending to everyone else’s needs.

Growing up with seven siblings, there was always something in the house that was broken or something that needed to be repaired. He was our family’s handyman.

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There was always a car that needed repair, that my dad would prefer to do himself rather than pay to have it done at the shop. He was our family’s mechanic.

He was always there to tell you when you messed up or just listen when you needed to talk. He was our family’s counselor.

He was always the one we turned to when we needed to borrow money or when we wanted that new toy. He was our family’s bank.

He was always there to teach us how to do new things, whether it be ride a bike or check the oil in our car. He was our family’s teacher.

My dad was, is, and always will be my role model.

The person I can tell anything to without being judged. Who always knows when something is wrong. Who has the answers to absolutely everything. Who can make me feel better when everything seems like it’s falling apart.

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So sure, mothers may be the glue that holds their family together. But fathers are the ones who put that glue there in the first place. To make sure their family is taken care of, supported, and loved.

So to my father, not only on Father’s Day but every day of the year, I hope you know your wisdom and hard work never go unnoticed. And I hope you always know how loved and appreciated you are. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for everyone around you. Thank you for keeping our family together.

Rachel Zeko

Rachel is a special needs therapist turned stay-at-home-mom to two little ones. She enjoys being outdoors, chasing around her toddler, and writing about the joys of motherhood.