I don’t think I realized how much a gift it was to stay at home and raise your children until I had the chance to do it myself. My mother stayed at home with my siblings and me while my father worked two jobs and served as a volunteer firefighter in our town. She only returned to work after my youngest sister was enrolled in full-day kindergarten, and she worked at our elementary school, ensuring she was home with us after school, on weekends, during school vacations, and through the summer.

I knew I was lucky to have my mom at home with me, but I don’t think I really appreciated it until I got to do the same with my own children. I also never realized how many sacrifices my father made to make it happen. And so, in honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to say thank you to all the fathers out there working hard so their wives can stay at home.

Thank you for logging in countless hours of work so we can stay at home with our children without worrying about providing additional income.

Thank you for the passion and dedication you show in your work because you are teaching our children it is important to find joy in what you do.

Thank you for volunteering in our community during your limited free time to show our children the value of service without expecting anything in return.

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Thank you for all those family dinners you were present for when you showed our children the importance of coming together as a family regularly even in the midst of chaos and long hours of work.

Thank you for leading our family in prayer each evening before dinner and every night before bed, and for never being ashamed to share your faith with us.

Thank you for every activity you needed to miss to ensure we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and enough spending money to make those activities possible.

Thank you for being willing to live simply, enjoying the small things in life like afternoon walks in the park, hours spent in the back yard, and the occasional trip for ice cream after dinner.

Thank you for taking a week off from work every summer so we can go on vacation together and enjoy some quality time as a family.

Thank you for being the constant number one fan of our children in the bleachers and along the sidelines.

Thank you for rearranging your work schedule to coach our children’s teams.

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Thank you for being our children’s constant support, their provider, and their protector.

Thank you for prioritizing one-on-one time with our children regularly so each of our children gets the attention they deserve from both of us.

Thank you for offering to care for our children so we can take a shower, go for a run, or spend some much-needed time with friends and loved ones by ourselves.

Thank you for every sacrifice you made to give our children the childhood we believe they deserve.

We cannot begin to express our gratitude for having the opportunity to care for our children—teaching them and loving them through every moment of every day we get to spend with them. You continue to make so many sacrifices to make that happen, and we cannot thank you enough for what you have done for us. You really are heroes.

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And so, to all those fathers who work for hours to allow your wives to stay home with your children, thank you. Thank you for your many sacrifices. Thank you for bearing the burden of tirelessly working to give your children the opportunity to be raised by their mothers at home. Thank you for the lessons you teach our children—lessons about sacrifice, dedication, hard work, and love. You might think your sacrifices go unnoticed but let this be proof: we see you. We see you, and we thank you. We see you, and we love you.

Previously published on the author’s blog

Shannon Whitmore

Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and freelance writing on topics such as marriage, family life, faith, and health. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.