Mom Confessional: Why My Husband is an Awesome Dad

Mom Confessional: Why My Husband is an Awesome Dad

What makes the difference between a father and a good father? Here’s one take.

By: Robyn Welling

I've started this article a half dozen times, only to scrap it and start over. Don't get the wrong idea, it's not because my husband isn't an awesome dad, because he most certainly is. He gives me new examples of his amazing parenting every day — this should be the easiest story I've ever been asked to write! So, what's the problem?

No matter what words I put to paper, it only seemed like a fraction of the story. When I shared a specific instance that showcased his parental abilities, I felt like I was leaving out too many details. When I listed all his wonderful, fatherly traits, the article got so sweetly mushy that even I couldn't read it without an airsickness bag at the ready.

What's a mother to do when she just can't seem to properly tackle the job at hand? I approached the task the same way I approach a sink full of dirty dishes or a yard full of leaves or a seemingly insurmountable pile of laundry.

I talked my kids into doing it instead.

Here, in their own words, are the reasons my kids think their dad is the best.

Gerry, age 22: I love when he remembers goofy childhood stuff that I vividly recall. Or brings me a sandwich out of the blue just prior to me getting up to eat.

Kennedy, age 18: I like his fatherly idiosyncrasies, like when he comes down to ask if I want breakfast or just puts a blanket over me.

Jake, age 11: He knows about a lot of stuff and teaches it to me.

Zoe, age 8: He's good at making things out of snow. And he's good at fixing things like my dresser and my canopy. And he's a good dancer.


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Madeline, age 2: OK, it's difficult to get a toddler to articulate exactly why she thinks her dad is the best, but I think the fact that he's the only one who's allowed to wipe her runny nose when she's sick speaks volumes.

After conducting interviews with the children and typing them up, I decided the perfect finishing touch would be to ask my husband what he considered to be the secret to his success.

I found him in the family room. The baby was on his lap, giggling. One of the kids was reading aloud from a chapter book about magical detectives, and another was doing homework, occasionally asking a question about fractions. He was laughing and listening and answering, balancing the multiple, often simultaneous, demands of fatherhood effortlessly.

It made me realize there are certain things you just can't possibly know about your spouse when you get married. Sure, you know you have the same sense of humour, you probably have a concept of how you mesh financially and you might even be able to predict whether or not his snoring will drive you insane. But what about parenting styles? Will you agree on how to raise your kids? That part is almost always a gamble. An educated guess at best.

As the years unfold, I'm never surprised to see what an amazing father he is. What I am surprised by is how well our parenting styles complement one another. Where I'm permissive, he draws boundaries. When I get frustrated, he is patient. When I want all the shouting voices to be quiet, he fills the air with music. When he wants a little elbowroom in our often crowded home, we fill his arms with hugs.

I know my husband is an awesome dad because I feel lucky to raise children with him. It's an incredible thing, to feel lucky every day.

I think I initially had trouble writing this article because being an awesome dad isn't just any one thing. It's years of things. It's the extraordinary, and it's the mundane. It's seeing a man from all different perspectives and admiring every angle. It's knowing you have a partner who might not do things exactly the same way you would, but with whom you can learn how to raise a family, day by day. Together.

He looked up and saw me watching from the doorway as I thought about the complex, deeply loving relationship he shares with each of the kids. He smiled, and, after shaking off the sentimental haze, I remembered why I was there.

"Honey, what do you consider to be the secret to your success as a father?" I asked.

His smile never wavering, the response came without hesitation. "Poop jokes."

Robyn is a freelance writer and humorist at Hollow Tree Ventures, a mother to five, and accidentally become a cleaning and crafts expert over the years. She loves to blog about her crafts and home decor projects, parenthood, life with her funny husband, and the humor of everyday life in Michigan.

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