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Fatherhood in Six Words

By Madeline Holler |

fatherhood-in-six-wordsBlogging for Charm City Moms, dad Joe Burris wants fathers to weigh in on parenting.

But he wants dads to keep it short. Like, six words short. Just boil the experience down to its essence.

Here’s what he came up with:

On most days, the six words that come to mind are the old Peace Corps motto: “The toughest job you’ll ever love.”

Often, at the end of a day, all I can think of is: “Time to go to bed, Sweetie.”


Then there are times when one of my daughters will plop in my lap, put her head on my shoulder and give me a hug.

I think of all the things I’ve asked God for, and look down at her.

“This is surely God’s greatest answer.”

My daughter would have to be asleep to move my husband to such a deeply metaphysical sentiment. Instead, this is what he gave me:

“Exhaustion, laughter, confusion, sweet, constant second-guessing.” (I interrupted the new John Madden and put him on the spot — cut him some slack.)

Dads, give it to us in six. Non-dads, feel free to elicit a response or, you know, make one up on Dad’s behalf. Ahhh, screw it. Moms — give us motherhood in six if you’re feeling it. For me, right now, it’s something like “Never knew I was so clueless.”

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Fatherhood in Six Words

  1. MomofBeans says:

    Yay! Shout out to B’more :-)

  2. Scientist says:

    Happy to say not much in my life can be summed up in six words.

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