To My Husband.
I got a big pat on the back at work today. It was my annual review and there were high fives all around. This will seemingly come as no surprise to you because you’re my biggest cheerleader – you believe in me more than I believe in myself. And honestly, I don’t know how you have the energy to wave those pom poms.
While I sat in the cosy afterglow of my boss’s praises, I had the sudden (and frankly, naive) realisation that you never get a pat on the back….unless it’s of the condescending variety. When a group of older women approach you at the cafe and say “we’ve been watching you dear and you’re doing SUCH a good job ‘babysitting’.”
I know you’re internally laughing as you outwardly thank them and introduce them to our kids. “Babysitting… or just doing my full-time job”, you think.
No-one could have prepared us for this journey that is parenthood. Certainly the forums, websites and books that I read didn’t. So as much as I hate to admit it, you probably had the right idea in doing none of that and just launching yourself into it! (Yes, I said it, you were right!)
From around the time you gently prised our 10-day-old screaming daughter from my arms and told me to rest, I feel I have been watching one of those heart-warming documentaries that you really only ever choose to watch on planes. The documentary where you look on in amazement as the subjects go through life completely selfless and gently spreading good energy wherever they go. You’re that subject.
I see you gently comb the knots from our daughter’s impossibly curly hair after a day at the beach.
I see you respond to the “Mother’s Group WhatsApp” chat even though you’re a dad, not a mum.
I see you on coaching our daughter to breathe herself to sleep when insomnia hits from 1-4am. Every. Single. Night.
I see that you took the time to research what would be gentle on her tummy before choosing Karicare Toddler for her to drink.
I see you take her shopping for new clothes because she’s growing faster than we could have imagined.
I see you make her food from scratch, trialling different proportions like a mad scientist until you find a combination that she eats.
I see you sing 'Let It Go' 37 times straight then turn into a horsey character because she’s too tired to walk.
Your arms are the safest place in the world for our daughter, and watching her melt into them when she’s scared, sad, furious at the world or overwhelmed with joy makes me realise you were made for this job.
Outside of all the stuff I see, it’s your calm, gentle approach to parenting that is right for our family which no amount of reading could have taught me, but you have.
So, if this were your annual review here’s what I’d tell you:
You get five stars.
You’ve exceeded my expectations of what good parenting is.
You’ve set a new standard for stay-at-home Dadding.
You lead by example and show me that ‘perfect’ is a word that doesn’t coexist with the word parent and that’s OK.
I believe in you and it’s my turn to cheer you on, pat you on the back and say thank you.
What do you want to thank your partner for? Tell us in the comments section below.
If you would like to nominate your partner as Australia's Gentlest Dad, go to www.gentlefeelsgood.com and you could win a $5000 family photo shoot thanks to our brand partner Karicare+ Toddler. T&Cs apply.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Karicare+ Toddler.
Want to show your partner how grateful you are for his gentle side? If you would like to nominate your partner as Australia's Gentlest Dad go to www.gentlefeelsgood.com and you could win a $5,000 family photo shoot thanks to our brand partner Karicare+ Toddler. T&Cs apply.