How dads help make happy moms

The other day I asked readers to share, here and on Twitter, how a great dad in their lives – their own father, their spouse, a grandpa, etc – makes them a happier mom. I got some great responses:

SusanP said:

“I could go on and on about my husband who is an excellent father. But for this I want to focus on my own Dad and how he has helped me be a happier mom in regards to my career.

Growing up, I had the traditional Mom who stayed home and Dad who worked full time. He was the breadwinner, but was not a total work horse either. He was out the door by 7am and in the door by 5:30pm every week night. He commuted to the city by train so his schedule was like clockwork. He never worked evenings or weekends. I have many many many happy memories of my childhood that are with my Dad. Dad was the one who’s lap I snuggled on as he read to me just about every night before bed. Dad was the one who played board games with us. He is the one who took us places on the weekend — parks, zoos, museums, etc. He is the one who took us on bike rides in the forest preserves. He is the one who helped me when I struggled with homework. He helped me train for softball try outs and came to a lot of the games to cheer me on when I made the team. He came to my band concerts. I could go on, but now to my point – my dad did all of these things while working full time outside the home. So when I reached a point in my life that I had to decide if I could manage a full time job after having kids, and I worried about not being with my kids 24/7 — I think of my Dad and how much we love each other. And how he’s been a huge part of my life from birth to 35… and somehow his job did not get in the way. He raised me to be the person I am just as much as my Mom did. So why should I feel guilty or unhappy about my decision? I can still be a great mom and work. It’s what you do when you are there that counts – building those bonds and memories doesn’t require 24/7 coverage. Without realizing it – Dad showed me how .”

Natasha said:

Of course, it’s about forcing myself to take a break, but when I do, he’s all for it! I feel so lucky to have this guy, even when I’m picking up his dirty socks ; )

Mariale said:

“My dad (mi papi): he’s the man of my life. He gave some of the most important values that had made me the woman I am now. If I am happy with myself as a person no doubt I am a happy mami for my daughter as well.

My husband (my daughter’s papi): I’m so happy only with the thought of her loving him as much as I love my dad. And I so look forward to see them loving each other and sharing all the lessons I got from my dad.”

and Rachel said:

“My husband’s unfailing belief in me, makes me want to be and helps me to be a better woman, wife, mom.”

What great tributes!

I’ll be sharing my own post about the way the dads in my life have helped me be a happier mom on Tuesday. My husband, sister and her boyfriend, and I took a weekend trip to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival this weekend, so we’ve spent most of today settling back into the house and cuddling with the kids.

But I wanted to say this tonight: if you were reading my blog last year you might remember that my dad died very unexpectedly a week or so after Father’s Day last year. Dad and I were never great about communicating by phone, and had never made much fuss over the “minor” holidays. I meant to call him on Father’s Day, but he was traveling, and we were driving home all day from a camping trip, and I just didn’t get around to it. And while logically I know better than to beat myself up over it, I’ll always regret not having made that call.

So even if it’s late, even if your relationship is awkward or strained or distant, even if you’re pretty sure you’ll get the voice mail…think about some way the dad in your life has made a positive impact, and make that call.

And of course, feel free to tell us about him in the comments to this post!

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