Does a good husband make a good daddy? What about vice-versa? Is it not our responsibility as mommies to pick the right man to raise our children the way we were hoping?
While wooing and choosing a husband, when it came down to it, it was all about you as a woman. You chose who made you feel good as the woman you were. When dating Erik I never really pictured him playing with toys, wiping dirty little butts, changing pee-soaked sheets or laying in bed reading to our kiddos. I was more interested in him making me laugh, telling me I was beautiful, making my bad days into good days and so on. Sure he still does all these things for me, but now his time and focus is split amongst three others and me.
During our date last night Erik and I started talking about the influence that our parents have on the partner we end up with. We see it in the movies time and time again. The scenario where a character ends up marrying someone just like their mother or their father. But is this really true in real life? I was always interested in members of the opposite sex that had lighter features, hair and eyes. Opposite of my dad’s black hair and deep brown eyes. I have always been attracted to a good sense of humor a quality that my dad had my entire life. Attracted to men who enjoy sports like my daddy. But there are a million different characteristics that my dad and Erik do not share. My dad was definitely a good dad but I didn’t want to marry my dad. So if we choose a husband based on our needs, and that husband is not like our dad, how do we really know that he’s going to be the dad that we want to walk the path of parenting with?
When I married Erik I knew he would be the father of my children, but I didn’t really know what kind of dad he would be. I knew the qualities he had as a lover, a man and a best friend but it wasn’t until I gave birth to our first son that he truly showed his colors as a daddy. Over the last 5 years I’ve watched a man I fell in love with at a bar turn into a man who kisses boo-boos, applies diaper cream with care, plays in the leaves at 7 am, looks terrified in a pediatric ER, matches a skirt to a bow, is brought to tears over every episode of Parenthood and so much more.
Lucky for me and our babies Erik is an amazing daddy. This of course didn’t happen over night but is a work in progress. As we mature in life as individuals we grow and learn as parents. Erik is the right kind of daddy because he listens to the needs of his children and his parenting partner. As the mother of his children I take the responsibility seriously of letting him know when he’s being a great dad and also when he’s not being so great. Erik being a real man takes both with open ears and an open heart. It’s my duty to help develop the amazing attributes I found in Erik as a spouse into fantastic daddy traits too. To hold my parenting partner accountable for his end of the deal. Confiding in and rallying around him as the daddy of my children. Cultivating the characteristics he carries that are causing our children to flourish and blossom while working with him to change the attributes that do not.
On this football Sunday I’ll admit to being a cheerleader, but my quarterback isn’t dressed in pads or carrying a pigskin. My MVP is dressed in sweats with Halloween candy in his teeth and three smiling kiddos hanging from his chest.