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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ode to My Husband: The SAHD

If I were a Dad, a lot of things I heard and read about Dads would probably offend the pants off me. Think about it, for some reason there are several companies and slogans out there to the tune of, "even Dads can do it!" or being "Daddy proof." What does that mean exactly? That things need to be dumbed down and made idiot proof in order for Dads to not look like the "before" person in an infomercial?

I think we owe Fathers a whole lot more credit than that when it comes to kids. While yes, Dads typically do things a little differently than Moms would (satirical exhibit A), that doesn't mean it's wrong.

That brings me to Jeff; husband turned father turned temporary stay at home Dad. Since Jeff is a teacher, he has the summers off and he stays home with the kids. Last summer, Ginny was only a few months old and while my still sappy postpartum self was very nervous to leave him home home with a newborn and a toddler, I never doubted he could do it. Truth be told, I was impressed at his ability to maintain sanity, keep the kids alive, and keep up with the house. Heck, he even maintained a garden and made dinner every night. This man is capable! But why wouldn't he be? He's a parent just like me.

This summer, the kids are a little older and still go to daycare two days a week to get them out of the house and around other kids. Jeff uses the days "off" to lesson plan, work out, clean the house, and make me (slightly) jealous of his free time. The days they are together though, I love hearing about the things they do while I'm at work.

Together, Jeff and the kids garden, read, go for walks, visit the library, play games, do puzzles, run around outside, swim, make lunch or bake, watch their green bean plant grow on the back porch, watch movies, color and paint, play with play doh...all things that they just like to do together.

It makes me wonder why so many parents (okay, mostly Moms) spend so much time on the internet searching for activities and ideas. Just do what your kids love! Sure, some days I get home and the kids are running around half dressed with PB&J on their face and there are 97 sippy cups and snack bowls hidden around the living room, but they are so happy and loved their day. This should be a big ol' win in any parent's book.

And despite all of that toddler entertainment, somehow he gets the laundry and dishes done, washes the cloth diapers, keeps up with Ginny's multiple medications, runs errands, and makes dinner. Jeff isn't an anomaly, he's a Dad - and a damn good one. I'm not going to giggle and call him "Mr. Mom." I'm not going to "Dad Proof" the house with Post Its and reminders. I'm not going to enter him in an "Even Dad Can Do It!" photo contest. I'm going to genuinely thank him for being such an amazing husband, father, and partner in this whole crazy parenthood thing - especially on the days when I know, for a fact, that you'd like to run screaming into the hills.

Keep rockin' babe. These kids are ridiculously lucky to have a Daddy like you.

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