Happy Father's Day

Edited to add: This post was originally written on June 19th, 2016

I read a blog post regarding step-parents and it summed up how we feel perfectly.

"Even though we don’t share blood or name or any part of our DNA, you are a dad all the same. Sometimes our dads come to us when we’re born, and sometimes they come to us later when they find us beaten down on a gravelly path and they decide we’re worth the risk so they bend down and set us right-side up, on our feet again. Thank you for deciding we were worth the risk."

That risk. He took it, and the boys and I are so grateful. Parenting is the hardest thing one can do. Parenting pre-teen boys that currently haven't seen or spoke to their "dad" in 4 months and have gotten zero financial help from him in a year, is ROUGH. They're mad. And hurt. And sad. I had one of them randomly start crying in the car, just last week "I wish I had real dad...or that Rob was my real dad" (insert sobbing mom emoji). Moments like that break my heart. BUT- Robert stepped up and stepped in. He coaches them. And goes to conferences. And watches their games. And teaches them how to do "manly stuff". He says things like "WE have 5 children" because WE do. He is often on the battlefront with them bc of our work schedules. He takes them to late night movies on the last day of school...or sometimes in the middle of the school week . He makes them hold doors for everyone. He teaches them how to work hard and get rewarded. He also teaches them if you're lazy and rude, you get nothing in return. He teaches them how to treat your wife with kindness and respect.

As he is now setting out on this new parenting journey of adding his "own" kids, I realize DAILY that he is teaching the older boys how it's done. How to be a dad, and more importantly, how to be husband. They watch him. I don't know if he realizes it, but they do. Robert is so tender and silly with Annabelle. And he is so funny and soft with Mason. They're watching. They're learning. They're learning that men can go to work and be burly & manly, and then come home and be 100% devoted to their families. And help with baths. And homework. And diapers. And fussy times. And cooking. And cleaning. And fixing stuff around the house. They can sing "Let it Go" at bedtime and play "babies". They can always make sure they don't miss a bedtime. They can make sure they're home. They are here and present and never act like they'd rather be out somewhere else.

Fathers are SO important. Moms get a lot of credit (and rightfully so ), but once you live in a world where dad walks out and moves on without the kids, you realize just how important dads are.
I don't have a dad to say it to, so I get to say it to the love of my life. Happy Fathers Day, Robert. These five kids are beyond lucky to have someone like you willing to take on what you do, day in and day out! And I must say I know it's not easy, but you do it so well.

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