The other evening, my partner, Brent, and I were discussing a Buzzfeed list (yep, I have read a few) that included the things that dads really do on a day-to-day basis that you don’t see on TV or in movies, like change diapers. We were lamenting the absence of seeing dads do anything but be comic relief on TV. I can provide an eye-witness account of the MANY things Brent does to make our house run and our children healthy and happy. But I am more concerned about the message we are creating by not making those Regular Dad things public.
Gender inequality hurts men, including the awesome dads I know who are every bit part of the equation of a family. Most dads are not the bumbling idiots when mom walks out the door that commercials would have us believe. Wonderful kids are being raised by moms and dads, single parents and double dad households all across the world, and dads are rocking it. Promoting gender equality cannot discount the amazing partners, allies, and mentors we have in fathers.
I want to thank my husband for just some of the amazing things he does that make our girls stronger and healthier for the future:
- He’s goofy with them, not just in an embarrassing-dad sort of way, but he really plays with them. He was the first customer at their recent Soups N’ Such restaurant, and he is always ready for a trek to the park. He is also not above an impromptu dance party, even if the girls didn’t ask for one.
- He commits to me everyday. The girls see that our conversations with each other as just as important as hearing what cool slime they made at summer camp that day.
- He truly enjoys his daughters. He is genuinely impressed by them. I catch him just watching them and smiling. He regularly shares a conversation from putting one of them to bed, and he will tear up and say, “our kids are just so awesome.”
My girls are growing up seeing a true partnership (although I have been known to slack on the dishes), and they know they are loved and valued, not just by their mother, but by the guy who is never fazed by wearing a tiara for a living-room-theatre-performance or who, like this morning, made cinnamon rolls for breakfast – just because. They will be stronger women because of their dad.
Thank you, Dove, for providing a real depiction of dads…but not for making me cry.