A Father’s/Partner’s Day Celebration
Note: for the purpose of this post, I wish to include all forms of “father” whether you are: an adoptive parent, a female bodied parent who identifies as male, a partner who isn’t called “Dad,” a stepparent, and all other manifestations of the role of father.
Dear Dads and Partners:
This Father’s/Partner’s Day celebration should be at the top of your list. How you define being celebrated is ENTIRELY up to you :) (See my Mother’s Day post for more on that subject.)
Fatherhood is being redefined and I for one am watching it happen with the families that I support.
I see you. And here is one of the many ways that I see it:
Often when it comes to sleep training, it can be an emotional process. I spend a lot of time talking with parents about how to prepare for and implement sleep changes. Usually, because it is so emotional, it is the fathers who step in and do the heavy lifting while their partner/wife steps back and is encouraged to do self care. This doesn’t mean that fathers don’t feel, but it does indicate that they are in support of their partners and ready to hold space during this emotional process for their family.
This (among so many things) deserves a celebration.
In her thoughtful blog post, Laura of “Chaos and Quiet” writes:
Today, in honour of Father’s Day, I want to recognize the Dads that are doing their best to make sure that Dads are seen and treated as equal parents. The Dads that are right there in the trenches handling every sort of parenting duty – not for the accolades, but because they are a parent, embracing every aspect of the role.
She goes on to give all the examples of how incredible fathers are.
Here is to you!
To Fathers everywhere…
…who jump headfirst into fatherhood – reading the books, attending the classes, and doing everything they can to be the best parent they can be.
…who take any paternity leave available to them, and actively encourage those that come after them to do the same. …who are learning alongside their partners, becoming expert diaper changers, baby burpers, and baby soothers.
…who, despite the fact that breastfeeding is the one area where they really can’t play an equal role, are handling their share of middle-of-night duties.
…who happily don the baby carrier and juggle the diaper bag.
…who are single dads and stay-at-home dads, confronting outdated gender roles on a daily basis.
…who are documenting their children’s childhood with a camera roll full of photos of the kids.
…who are handling diaper blowouts, spit up, stomach bugs, and every other less-than-glamorous aspect of parenting.
…who are scheduling and showing up to their children’s numerous appointments (a special shout out to my husband, who has made it to every single immunization appointment for all 3 of our kids!).
…who are teaching their children to walk, talk, read, swim, skate, ride a bike, tie their shoes, and throw a ball.
…who spend their evenings re-learning elementary school math, so they can help their child with homework.
…who are taking their children to school, volunteering in the classroom, and helping out on field trips.
…who wouldn’t dream of using the term “babysitting” to describe taking care of their own children, and are quick to correct anyone who does.
…who have mastered at least one go-to hairstyle for their daughters.
…who are actively involved in the sick day juggle, handling their share of days with an ill child.
…who are re-arranging their schedules as much as they can, to attend the middle-of-the-day, can’t-miss school events.
…who happily step in, when Mom is not available, to attend their child’s Mother’s Day tea.
…who embrace their roles as nurturers and supporters, doling out hugs and cuddles, and always taking the time to talk to their child about what’s on their mind.
…who encourage their partners to take time for themselves, and make sure to do the same, so that neither parent is losing themselves in parenthood.
…who aren’t intimidated by a night or weekend of solo parenting.
…who play tea party and cars, who let their children style their hair with an assortment of tiny hairbows. Who build forts, and play house, and read countless bedtime stories.
…who are active and equal participants in their children’s life. Who know their children’s friends, their favourite show, and their shoe size.
…who are doing their best to be there for the important moments – big and small – in their children’s life.
Thank you for doing what it takes and refusing to accept the stereotyped and outdated roles of what it means to be a father.
Thank you for raising the next generation of expansive and balanced humans.
Thank you for your kindness, your softness and your strength.
Happy Father’s/Partner’s Day.
Photo credits: Larry Crayton on Unsplash; Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash; Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.