With Father’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about what it takes to be a dad. My husband is not only my best friend and my partner in life, but he’s also my ‘baby daddy’. I often like to sit back and watch him with Ben (5) and Hudson (2 months) and I genuinely feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing man by my side to raise our kids. He’s the perfect dad in every way. The way they both look at him, and look up to him, is priceless.
So what does it take to be a dad? Here’s my view, based on what I see each day.
A dad teaches his kids about responsibility. He teaches through example what it takes to be a hard worker, dedicated and loyal. He teaches his kids about respect. Respect for others and yourself. He respects their teachers, their coaches and any other strong influence in their life, and teaches them to do the same. He teaches them how to respect women, especially their mum.
He talks to them about values and morals and how to be a good person. How to be polite and grateful and how not to take advantage of people. A dad teaches his kids right from wrong, but lets them make mistakes. He teaches them about positivity, and self-appreciation. He celebrates achievement but doesn’t push them for success. Failure is not frowned upon, as failure is a lesson. He teaches them about good sportsmanship, and to congratulate others.
He takes the time to get to know their friends, and their friends’ parents. He has an interest in who his kids are sharing their life with. He tells them about bad influences and how not to be swayed. He speaks from experiences and lets them into his world. He doesn’t hide the fact that the world can be a scary place, but reassures them that he’ll always be right by their side.
He asks his kids what makes them happy or sad or angry, and lets them feel while talking through their feelings with them. He’s empathetic and compassionate.
He disciplines when he needs to, but makes sure they’re not frightened by him. He’s gentle. He’s protective. He’s strong and he’s brave. He’s consistent.
He listens with intent when he asks how their day was or what they learnt in school that day. A dad makes time for the kids- valuable, uninterrupted time without any distractions. He plays with them even when he’s tired. He reads to them and helps with their school work. He teaches them the alphabet, numbers, how to read and write, and how to work through additions and subtractions. He has fun with them. He makes them laugh until they can’t laugh no more. He takes them on adventures and teaches them about the world.
He changes nappies, wakes up for nighttime feeds, carries kids to bed and tucks them in tight so they don’t get cold. He cooks and cleans, and washes bottles. He fixes toys and ipads, even when he doesn’t know how to. He baths, he gets kids dressed and he helps them go to the toilet. He cuddles and kisses. He holds their hands.
He calls them when he’s not home. He makes sure to kiss them goodbye and hello.
He loves them endlessly. He shows them he loves them endlessly.
To our two kids, their dad is their world. The way Ben talks about him with such love, admiration and pride shows just how much of a positive influence he is in his life. The way Hudson stares at him, takes my breath away. It fills my heart with such love and warmth to know that our boys have a dad who does everything he can, to raise them right.
Thank you babe for everything you do for Benny and Hudson. We love you to the moon and back, and not only on Father’s Day, but every day.
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