By Sometimes Mom
For those that celebrate, Father’s Day is coming up soon which has me thinking about the role my husband plays in our family compared to the expectations we have of fathers in our society. My husband is an amazing father; people rave about him, and they should! But why is he considered such an anomaly? As a society, we set the bar lower for dads and allow a margin of error that we would never dream of accepting from moms. But I’m not here to pick on dads, rather I would like to set the bar higher.
Our foster children are not lucky to be with us, they are not lucky to have endured whatever circumstances led to them being in care, or to be removed from their families. No, they are not lucky to be with us, but I’m glad they have my husband as a foster dad, and I am certainly lucky to have him as a partner.
For most of our kids, I am their second mother but for many, my husband is their only father. I will always be fighting a losing battle when contrasted, by the child, to their biological mother. But the concept of having a full-time father figure is sometimes unfamiliar. When spending time in our home, our foster children are likely to learn that the dad does the grocery shopping and most (ok, all) of the cooking. That the dad plays with them, build them forts, fixes their bikes. They’ll learn that a dad’s job is to pick them up from school, read bedtime stories, and make sure their teeth are brushed. A dad’s job is everything a mom’s job is and if I’m being honest, in our house, it’s more.
In a perfect world, our foster children wouldn’t know us at all, they would have no reason to. But since they do, I believe my husband has set the bar high for men, for fathers and for parents in general. I like to think I have shown them what to expect from a partner and what a healthy relationship looks like. Even if only for a short time, I hope that our children remember this well into their adult lives.
This is really an ode to my husband, to celebrate and acknowledge everything he does for our family, but I recognize that there are many types of families and they don’t all have, or need to have, dads. If you are parenting with a partner, I hope they are amazing and supportive, and if you’re doing it alone, then I am even more impressed with your ability to take on and succeed in the hardest job in the world.
To all the dads, Happy Father’s Day, the bar has been set!