Friday, April 1, 2016

To The Unsung Father: An Open Letter to Dads

There is a meme that has been going around the internet lately that really rubs me the wrong way. After I saw it for about the tenth time, I looked into the idea more. And there are TONS of memes bashing husbands and fathers. But it doesn't just stop with memes. My "mom group" on Facebook, which I love 90% of the time when they help out this first time momma, is suddenly husband bashing central. And have you watched any kind of television lately? The mom is basically rocking life while the father is portrayed as either stupid, incompetent, or uninvolved. Not sure you believe me? Check out this article from the Washington Post. Or a million other articles like it. Seriously. Google it.

I feel like we're all concerned about the mommy wars, female rights, and making sure to put motherhood on a pedestal while simultaneously bashing husbands and fatherhood.
And it hurts my heart just a little bit.

"My husband didn't replace the roll of toilet paper." "Well mine came home late from work for the third night in a row." "Mine doesn't even know how to turn on the dishwasher." Sound familiar?

Now, I know that there are poor fathers in the world. I'm not talking about the legitimately aloof fathers out there. I'm talking about the good dads who are getting ragged on for all of the things that they aren't doing when they are doing so many amazing things. Have we forgotten that we as mothers and fathers are on the same team?

So I want to recognize dads for all they do. I want to sing your praises. I want you to know that I do see all that you are doing and the great men that you are.
So here is my letter to you dads who are just totally rocking it. I hope you start getting a little more credit for all you do!


To the Unsung Father,

I'm sorry you have gotten such a bad rap from the media recently. I'm sorry for the women who are dragging you down. I'm sorry for the times I have played into that bad image. I hope you know that all the good things you do are noticed.

To the dad that works long, hard hours every day and then comes home to play even harder with the little ones: I see you. I know that you maybe don't have the strength for just one more pony ride, but you do it anyways. I know that the big game is on tonight. But you're at the tee-ball tournament of the year. I know that big deadline is approaching. But you wouldn't miss story time for the world. So to you I say, thank you. You'll get it all done. And the kids will be so glad that you chose them. You gave them time.

To the dad who takes his turns staying home alone with the kids so your wife can make a Target run without the littles: I see you. This may seem like no big deal to you, but your wife is reveling in a moment alone at the mecca of all shopping. I know that she only ran for a box of diapers and came home an hour later with a new pair of jeans, ten items from the dollar bins, some cute new home decor... and possibly forgot the diapers. But you just smile, give her a big kiss, and go to get some diapers. So thank you. Your wife appreciates it and the one-on-one time you had with your kids is priceless to them.

To the dad who is a living example of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: I see you. Not only do you read scriptures as a family, offer prayers of gratitude, seek God's direction, and worship together, you live your faith. You treat your wife with the love and devotion God intended. You help the stranger, lift up the friend that is having a hard time, and kiss tear streaked cheeks of little ones with skinned knees. Your kids will see these acts and know that you truly are a man of God. They will grow up in the light of Christ. So thank you. You are raising men and women of God.

To the dad that is scared and wondering if he is doing enough: I see you. The fact that you don't know what you are doing and strive to be better each day speaks volumes. There is no manual on fatherhood, but you get up every day and do your best. So thank you. Thank you for accepting the mistakes you make and recognizing that you don't know everything, but you know enough.

To the dad who is an equal partner with your wife: I see you. You counsel together with your wife and make parenting decisions together. You are involved, aware, and helpful. You and your wife work as a team to take care of the kids, keep the house in order, and provide for the family. Neither of you is better than the other. And you have created something beautiful together. So thank you for building a family that is based on love, mutual respect, and hard work. You're doing great things.

To the dad who was awake all night with a screaming baby: I see you. It's not just the moms who are up all night. I know you take your turn. I know that nothing seems to work. You've rocked the baby, sung songs, swaddled, bounced... and still he's awake. I know you have to wake up in a few short hours to be to work on time. I know that you were up late working on the finishing touches of that big report. And yet, here you are. Taking your turn. Being the dad. So thank you. Thank you for taking your roll as a father seriously and not being afraid to do the hard stuff. Thank you for sacrificing your own needs to help your children and your wife. Cuddle up with that little one, because this phase will pass all too quickly. And surprisingly, you will miss these sweet moments.

And to the dad who puts his marriage above all else: I see you. I see you taking your wife on a date every weekend. I see you come home from work and give her a hug and a kiss before you do anything else. I see you sitting and talking with her about her day, her dreams, her hopes, and sharing your own with her. I see you confiding in her and appreciating all she says. I see you holding hands as you go for a walk with the family. Your kids will see this. Knowing that you love their mother so much will bring confidence, peace, and joy into their lives. Your daughters will seek to marry men like you and your sons will seek to become men like you. So thank you. Thank you for loving your wife above all.

Your acts and efforts are not unnoticed. I see you. Don't get discouraged by the negative image of dads that the media portrays. Keep being more than a father. Be a dad. And a great one at that.

Thank you,
An Appreciative Mom

Fatherhood



10 comments:

  1. Awesome Kailei. I mean, that meme does apply to my husband sometimes (no one is perfect, right?), but my hubby is pretty great. :) Although, he likes to pretend like he doesn't know where dishes get put away in our kitchen...

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    1. Good point, Justine! That meme even applies to ME sometimes! haha... I mean, who of us hasn't hid out in the bathroom a time or two?

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  2. I LOVE this. I wrote a similar letter soon after I had my son as well. It's one of my favorite posts to date just because I know exactly what you are saying. Putting down our dad's doesn't help anyone. It just makes us women look like B*%$'s. Dad's deserve to be acknowledged for all they do. In case you're interested - http://www.goodenufmommy.com/2014/06/a-letter-to-the-dads.html

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing that! I just read it and absolutely loved it! It was refreshing to read and know that others feel the same way I do. I hope that we can create a new way of talking about these amazing men in our lives!

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  3. I so agree with this! My husband is a wonderful husband and father, and I HATE that TV stereotype of the bumbling oaf dad. It's been around a long time, but it seems to be getting worse rather than better. I've never understood why anybody thinks they need to drag down one group to elevate another, either... so sad. Cheers to the great dads out there!

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    1. Agreed! I love the adage "thee lift me and I'll lift thee and we'll ascend together." There is no need to drag someone down to lift someone up. We can both be lifted up higher if we work together.

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  4. Great, great, great article! Love reading positive posts and this one was such a great point of view. There are so many great Dads out there (my Dad and my husband included) and they deserve to be recognized.

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  5. Did you have a chat with Elder Christofferson before conference? Haha! Really though, this is such an important issue. I couldn't be the mother I am without the constant support and love of my loyal husband. Thank you for putting words to so many of my feelings!
    ~Rhonda~

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    1. Oh I loved his talk so much!! I just kept thinking "yes! This is what I am feeling!" So grateful for amazing men.

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