By: Heather Desmond O’Neill
My husband has taught me a lot about fatherhood. He is devoted, loving and takes great pride in the two little monsters we created.
Here are 4 things in particular that I have learned about fatherhood from him:
- Lead by example – My husband treats me with respect at all times and sets an example of how to treat women for our boys. Unfortunately, he also tends to pass a lot of gas and they have followed in his footsteps.
- Patience is a virtue – During this dreadful pollen season, both of my boys have needed eye drops. This has proven to be somewhat difficult for me to do. Tonight my son asked me if his father could give him the drops. I gladly passed over the bottle and let him do his magic. It was amazing to see how patient my husband was with our son and how effective his game of “open and close” was at delivering the medicine to our son’s allergy-ridden eyes. Lucky for me, I just got out of administering the drops forever.
- To not give in …. Even when it’s the easier thing to do – I like to think of myself as a disciplinarian, but let’s face it, that’s not the case. My boys definitely listen to their father and tend to behave very differently for him than they do for me. One night last week I needed to run an errand and I wanted to get it done that night. I was opting out of the ever-extensive bedtime routines and my oldest son threw a fit. I was about to cave in and put the boys to bed when my husband stepped in to say, “That’s not teaching him anything but that he can throw a fit and get his way. Go do your errand. I got this.” He was right. I needed to stick to my guns, which I normally do, but at that moment, it was easier to give in. I didn’t, and guess what? everything was fine.
- To love unconditionally – My husband bestowed upon me the title of wife and then mother. I am truly blessed to be called both. One of my favorite memories, and
the first memory of my husband as a father, was in the hospital room, just after waking from my emergency c-section, a nurse wheeled in my beautiful baby boy who I had yet to meet. I could not move to pick him up from the bassinet, so my husband, as nervous as he was, gently placed his hand under my son’s hour-old head and gingerly lifted him. My son, the most precious thing to me at that moment, looked so safe and sound in my husband’s large, loving arms. The look on my husband’s face told me that no matter what, the love that we experienced at that moment was pure, without limits or conditions. It was where I was meant to be.
It brings me joy to see my friends and family becoming fathers. These men are caring, kind and astounding role models to their children. I feel that the culture of fatherhood has changed over the last few years, and fathers are now proudly wearing baby carriers, changing diapers in public and truly making an effort to be the best dads they can be. It’s an amazing time to watch these men melt at the sight of their babies, smile as their children come into their own personalities, and grow as partners, friends and fathers.
In honor of Father’s Day, I want to thank my husband for all he’s done and wish all of the amazing dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day. Remember, what makes you a man is not your ability to have a child; it’s the courage to raise one.