I feel like I hit the jackpot with my husband – he is a proud, loving, totally involved dad to twins. Besides the fact that he was a saint when I was pregnant, the man misses nothing (well… except for telling me that my CPR training was on Wednesday when it was Tuesday but I think that’s because he volunteered to take the one night feeding and is a little sleepy). It’s a welcome relief to have him jump into action when he gets home at night since I’ve been outnumbered all day.
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I thought I would share this article written by a dad in this month’s issue of Parents Magazine (I got my subscription on the cheap through Destination Maternity). Sean and I both thought it was pretty funny, particularly this section:
The language people use to stroke fathers sounds an awful lot like the words we tend to use to praise kids. In fact, men are graded on such a generous parenting curve that I came up with a handy checklist for measuring our so-called excellence. Each entry is worth 10 points. Accumulate 40 and congrats: You, too, are a “great dad!”
- Hang out with your kid in a public setting without your partner
- Attend an event that you likely wouldn’t be attending if your kid wasn’t with you
- Don’t blow up the house while warming a bottle
- Seem to have a good time with your kid
- Transport your child from one place to the next in a manner that might be considered by some to be a bit uncomfortable—for you, not for the child
(Note: Moms can also use this checklist to rate themselves, but each entry is only worth 1 point.)
All joking aside, we need to move beyond the idea that a dad’s presence alone makes him great at the job. It’s condescending and undervalues the importance of a father’s regular engagement. Spending time with your child does not make you great. Strapping a baby to your chest and leaving the house does not make you great.
On the other hand, the seemingly silly things a dad does may actually be great. A friend of mine recently planted a golf ball that my son and his son were fighting over so they could check back in a few months to see if it had grown into a golf-ball bush. That’s greatness.
Considering Sean will push the double stroller and walk 2 dogs at the same time, I think he’s got that checklist under control, hahaha. Interestingly enough, I feel like more often than not, dad’s really are just that great and who doesn’t love a little extra praise?! So here’s to all you truly great dads out there – I hope everyone has a fantastic Father’s Day! Let us know how you celebrate!