In the internet universe, certain topics trend in relation to what everyone else is talking about on one particular day or another.
Whether it’s a climatic moment in pop culture, a news headline, a YouTube video about cats or just a plain old topic that everybody seems to be buzzing about at once. Blogging also follows this trend I have noticed.
Right now, from where I sit and type, one of the most written about topics in the mommy blogging world is actually…dads.
I see women who say that they are not going to make a big stink over dads doing what dads should be doing. Whether he is changing a diaper, giving the baby a bottle or keeping the kids by himself for a few hours, these are dads doing what they should be doing.
So why do they keep getting all the praise for doing what they ought to be doing?
I actually understand this on some level because, yea, diapers have to get changed, babies have to get bathed, the kids have to have food and glue cleaned out of their hair – why should it be such a revelation that dads also take part in this, too?
But I want to make a point:
For many, involved dads are not the norm. But maybe we can help change that if we celebrate fatherhood differently.
Let me start with saying that my husband, the father of my children, is both a great spouse and an *amazing* parent. I had some expectations going into the parenting business, but not many.
And what expectations I did have he has since completely decimated.
He might not always know where to find spare outfits for the kids even though I’ve told him, like, a thousand times where to look, and he may try to conspicuously pass the infant off to me when she has a poopy diaper, (really though, who can blame him for trying?) but he is an exceptionally great father. He cleans up messes. He changes diapers. He disciplines. He loves on them. He is available to them. He holds them.
And I am so thankful for him.
I am also thankful to be surrounded by plenty of families that have wonderful, involved fathers.
But I am also aware that I am surrounded by families and friends who don’t boast the same thing.
Whether the father is present but not as inclined to take part in midnight feedings for the baby or to be an occasional extra set of hands. Whether a family is separated and the parents have to work out arrangements between each other for the sake of their children. Or there are women who have children with little to no help at all from their children’s father, of any kind, there are plenty of families who do not fit the same mold that my family, and many other families do.
One of the most prevalent, yet quietly overlooked crises out there is children growing up without their father.
Fatherhood is one of the most
overlooked treasures of
the modern age.
Yes, there are homes where the mom is the absentee parent. Yes, there are homes where the dad is the primary caregiver for the children while mom works. I understand that families look very different from one another.
But when I hear women/wives/mothers saying that they aren’t going to get overly excited when they see men being fathers to their babies…something inside of me is unsettled by that.
Because It’s just not that simple.
Yes, there is and should absolutely be an expectation of involvement from fathers. Yes, I personally expect my husband to both help me and to take charge when it comes to our children.
Yet despite my expectations, am I still excited as all get out that my husband is thriving as a father? You better believe it!
I know that I am incredibly lucky to have a father like him for my children, just as I am sure that he is grateful to have a mother like me for his children.
No, moms, it’s not our job to try to force dads be more involved. No, it’s not our fault when they are not. That is their choice, their mistake to make.
This is not a call to celebrate the bare minimum, this is a praise for the richness that is passionate fatherhood.
This is looking at fathers and saying that we need them, too. We notice when they are gone, and more IMPORTANTLY, we notice when they are here, getting it right.
We don’t necessarily need to be excited about each individual task, no matter how big or how small. But we should be excited about fatherhood. We should recognize when we see it being done well and be excited about it when the men in our children’s lives break the mold that modern-day society is setting.
It does not diminish the importance and impact of one role when we celebrate the greatness of another.
We should absolutely be celebrating the men who are beyond involved in their children’s lives. Especially the men who shatter the out of touch expectations our society has had fatherhood in the past and who break the mold of what is becoming the norm in this generation of lackadaisical parenting.
Just like we should also be singing the praises of moms who do incredible things every. single. day. for their children.
We can’t want to feel appreciated and seen and treasured, ladies, when we aren’t willing to extend the same courtesy to the fathers of our babies. Be EXCITED about fatherhood.
See your children’s father for the gift that he is when he gets it right…and even when he gets it wrong (cake for breakfast is not a well thought out idea.) And go ahead and swoon a little over the men who absolutely, sold-out, all in love their babies.