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Challenge: What Do Fathers Do Best?

The Dad Behind the Working Mom

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b73e8a5dbd3a5fc50d7247b5c2fa50df5af45e51.jpgAs a working mom, I could not do all of the things I want to accomplish as a mother or career woman without the support of my husband. Beyond offering me encouragement along the way, he is an equitable partner in our home. I am grateful that my children will not only have memories of their father as the one who provides adventures, like sledding, biking, and being thrown in the air, but a model for active participation in the household, from changing diapers to washing dishes. Their father takes them to the grocery store and picks out their clothes in the morning. Our children grow up seeing household duties as family duties rather than specific to either mom or dad. While there are plenty of chores that each of us excel at and prefer, such as his cooking and my story reading, they have learned that we both can and should do a bit of everything.

After our first child was born, I returned to work six weeks later and my husband stayed home to care for him over the next three months. At my son's first few pediatrician appointments, my husband provided the details of his day, such as his feeding schedule and developmental milestones, as the primary caregiver. It was initially off putting as his mother to be the non-dominant parent, but I eventually came to appreciate the beauty of having his father embrace this role so that I could maintain my career trajectory. Rather than have to put our newborn in daycare, our son developed a strong bond with his father, who remains a strong attachment figure in his life.

My husband is an amazing partner and allows me to be the best person that I can be. He is a role model for our children and I am proud of the ways in which I see elements of him blossoming in them. He challenges me to push myself when I need to be pushed and reminds me to slow down when I need to ease up. I probably do not applaud him enough, but I am thankful that Father's Day reminds me each year to recognize how lucky I am to have a father like him in my and my children's life.

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