Whatever name you may go by—Dad, Daddy, Dada, Babi, Padre, FatMan—you need to sit down and read this. Even if that means taking your phone into the bathroom for 30 minutes, do what you need to do.
We know men are generally “few words” type of people, but as you also know, we women like to make sure you fully understand what we are saying, especially if it is something you do not hear enough.
So, here it is in your language: Thank you.
And here it is in our language:
Thank you for being the unsung hero for all of us. Thank you for sitting in the playroom with the kids so we can perform a necessary sanity check. Thank you for stepping up to order the pizza on the days we are too tired to lift a fork. Thank you for getting the babies a bottle in the morning before you leave for work so we can have that extra 5 minutes to lay in bed. Thank you for making us laugh when most of the time we just feel like breaking down into a puddle of tears. Thank you for constantly reminding us we are part of a team, and there is no expectation set forth for anyone to do this alone. Thank you for taking us into your arms in a tight embrace because sometimes that is the only thing holding us together. Thank you for loving every aspect of ourselves, even the extra belly rolls and frizzy hair we can’t stand to look at.
We have all heard it time and time again: Mommy does this and mom does that? Wow! Mommy is a superhero! But, you are the Etta to our Wonder Woman. So, you’re right, it is long past due that we throw a little bit of praise Daddy’s way. Because you’ll never admit it, but every kiss and hug, every word of affirmation, every crazy little drawing you are given, every time your tiny mini me throws the ball to you is the reason why you do what you do and get up every morning, get dressed and go to work.
You may not have the visible, physical signs of growing a human, but you weren’t untouched. Every day you worried about that tiny person, about us, about where we would be physically, financially, emotionally. You stayed strong so that we didn’t have to. You carry your mental stretch marks with a silent determination because you recognized you’re a father now and you did what you knew needed to be done.
Many people believe a father truly becomes a father the moment the newborn child is placed into his arms. But that’s not the reality, is it? It’s a conscious metamorphosis as if the moment you found out the news about the impending arrival, you burrowed yourself into a cocoon so when the time came, you would emerge with a new strength and wings to carry us all.
You worried, too, about what kind of parent you would be, how you would act, if you would love them enough, if you would love them too much. You felt your heart growing inside of you to the point you worried it might explode, but you did so in silence. A silence you chose so you could hear us tell you our latest cravings or our complaints about how exhausted we are daily.
You were our body guard when family and friends overwhelmed us with visits and congratulations. You knew we were in shock because you shared the same feeling. But you suppressed yours enough to function in society, to smile and say thank you, to politely tell others we were sleeping. When night fell, that’s when you would allow yourself, for a brief moment, to soak it all in. But not a moment longer as you knew you couldn’t afford to break now because you were already trying to help us get back together.
It is time to stop segregating parents into teams of mothers and fathers. It took a union to create a human life, and it takes one to raise a child and teach them everything we know, hopefully producing socially and globally responsible people. We are a team. We are a united front. We are PARENTS.
Fathers, you are not forgotten.
So, to every father out there, we thank you. We love you. We appreciate you.
With all our love,