by Julie Snyder
Biology alone doesn't necessarily make a man a "dad."
These three letters are earned through surviving the stench of dirty diapers, dragging their "...it's after work, I just want to hit the couch" self outside to toss a ball around and by caring enough to say the word "No!" when needed.
We reached out to our members and asked them which characteristics they value most from their partner as a "dad." The results point to how the "ordinary" is considered "extraordinary" among our pregnancy.org mamas!
We asked the question, "What sets your guy apart as a special dad?" We've broken the answers down by topic. Let's take a look!
"I always knew my husband would be a good dad 'someday.' As we planned our future together, he created a picture perfect scene of him and our son- or daughter–to-be. I don't believe he was thinking of the downright gross side of fatherhood. I have to admit that he handles dirty diapers, even cloth like a champ -- getting our son to smile and laugh while he pretends to gag. I'd be reaching for a gas mask! Now that's love!" says Jen.
Margaret fondly remembers, "With no experience with a newborn my husband took a nine-day-old preemie home to care for while mommy recovered from gallbladder surgery. He had never made a bottle, changed diapers or even held a newborn before."
"My partner is what you would think of as a stereotypical construction guy. He comes home late after a hard day's work, sweaty, covered in grime, dirt under his fingernails, and beyond tired. Still, he can't seem to wait to get his little girls in his arms. After a quick shower, he pulls them in close for story time and lullabies -- daddy style. I know that they all will treasure those memories forever," Kris shares.
Anna remembers, "He always greets the kids with a smile. Always."
"We went through some horribly, difficult times after our son was born premature at 30 weeks. There were times then and over the past two years when we were told that he wouldn't make it. My husband was there for me and our child every step of the way. Both his career and our once financial security suffered. Throughout, he has remained steadfast, keeping us focused on what matters versus stressing about what tomorrow may bring," Meghan says.
"I generally handle crisis far better than my spouse. Kids get hurt; mom's there to make it better. But strangers, storms, or monsters under the bed? Totally my husband's territory! We all feel secure with daddy home!" Rhonnie states.
Angela shares, "My hubby is special because of all the extra stuff we have to deal with. He takes charge. Just today he made a phone call I didn't want to make, but knew we needed to. I'm so thankful he did. He picked me up when I didn't have the strength or courage."
"Have you ever walked in and found your husband dressed for 'tea’ with your 2-year-old? Hosting his own version of 'Dancing with the Stars' in the living room with a 7-, 5-, and 2-year-old 'critics?' Laying in a homemade mudpile, 'driving’'trucks up and down (with proper sound effects of course!)? What about showcasing his ability to entertain children for a full 30 minutes with nothing but a pack of tissues during a long wait at the doctor's office? Yes, that is among many things that make my man special! Our kids sum it up daily when he walks through the door: 'Best Toy Evah!'" Jill shares with a smile.
"I fall in love with my best friend all over again when I see him playing peek-a-boo for the thousandth time. I'm not sure which of 'my boys' will tire of it first -- my husband or our five-month-old!" says Sheryl.
While we couldn't put in all your wonderful quotes, we know there are so many more positive stories to share! Feel free to add them in the comments!
Bottom-line, it isn't the trinkets and store-bought toys that matter most in the "Top Dad" competition. Instead, it's that investment of time, fun and laughter. Each dad is a treasure.
It's those moments where silence and the comfort of dad's arms bring peace of mind. It's where we delight that grown men capture our hearts as they captivate our little ones with, "just one more story."