Some troubling news has come to my attention recently — that dads occasionally feel a bit left out, a tad on the outside, a little unappreciated.
As a mother, I confess that sometimes I secretly wish to be “left on the outside” so I can go get a massage without anyone hassling me. But who am I kidding, the feeling of being worshipped by tiny people makes me feel pretty good.
So let’s dish out some of that worship to the deserving dudes too. Many a dad out there works his keister off to contribute, and earn a few brownie points (ideally in the form of some actual brownies.)
Below are 10 (of the many) traits I believe a rad dad possesses, and I would like to make a call to action that we throw a few more bones (or brownies!) their way, when we see dads, partners, or papas exhibiting said awesomeness:
1. Delivers Un-fished Compliments
I don’t like to fish for fish, and I don’t like to fish for a “honey, your butt not only looks amazing in those 10-year-old yoga pants, it rivals Gisele’s” either.
If a man can dish out an unrequested compliment at just the moment when his spouse fells like a nappy-haired-dirty-laundry-scented-pile-of-mush, he is a winner in my book.
2. Cooks (or Brings Home Take-Out)
The amount of food required to enter the body throughout a day is exacerbating.
If a dad can foresee the fact that his partner is likely sick of the sight of her kitchen by the end of the day, and would rather eat a helping of Bravo than food she has to make, and brings home the bacon, Thai food, or groceries that he will cook, he certainly deserves to eat the last brownie.
3. Shakes Out Your Sillies
A partner that can aid in the act of loosening up, laughing out loud, and shaking it out is amazing.
If he can make you feel young, wild, and wonderfully irresponsible again, never let him go.
4. Doesn’t Guilt You Into Sex
Sometimes sex just isn’t fun.
If your man can deduce whether you’re so tired you’d give up dessert for sleep or if you just need some subtle razzing-up, he is a divine angel sent from the land of happy mamas.
5. Climbs Into the Stinky-Slimy-Sicky Trenches
Children are messy, and aren’t the best at landing their bodily fluids in the toilet.
If he views being puked on, rocking a feverish child for 4 hours straight, and scrubbing poop out of the carpet as part of “parenthood,” not just “motherhood,” he deserves one of those “you’re genuinely awesome” smiles.
6. Throws You a “You’re Right” Bone, Even When You’re Wrong
Sometimes a mama just needs to be “right” even when she’s downright, completely, utterly wrong.
There’s nothing better than when hubs can tell his ego to take a hike and pony up an undeserved acceptance of our crazy at just the moment we might blow if someone doesn’t (freaking!) agree with us.
7. Sparks, Stokes, and Strokes Your Creativity
Laundry, cooking, dishes, bottom wipes, and rinse-laugh-cry-repeat can occasionally adopt the undertones of monotony.
If the fellow baby-maker can sprinkle some creativity in your cocktail in the form of an art class, an hour to write, a new outfit to perform your interpretive dances in, or facilitating whatever other creative outlet that wets your whistle, he is Golden.
8. Forgets How to Roll His Eyes, and Loses His Judge-y Accent
There’s nothing like an eye roll or misplaced inflection in the wrong word to cause a mama who internally resembles a wound-up wind-up toy to burst.
I sincerely hope your dude has mastered the art of keeping his eyes still and speaking in the perfect monotone, with the right hint of emotion, yet completely devoid of sass, like mine has. It’s the greatest peace-keeping skill since red wine.
9. Is a Barista
Love reveals itself in many forms — a tender kiss, a thoughtful note, and a container of caffeine.
A honey-man who is capable of whipping up a pot of Joe or dunking a tea bag in some hot water just when you’re scraping the bottom of your energy reserves is truly amazing. If he can concoct cute little foam pictures on the top of a cappuccino — even better.
10. Doesn’t Forget the Power of Touch (and Space!)
Two strong hands on your shoulders after a day of herding disgruntled cats (oops, I mean children), followed by proper respect of your need for personal space and alone time is heavenly.
If dad can provide that comforting, no-strings-attached touch, he’s a keeper.
Here’s to all the rad partners in the world, busting through stereotypes, lifting us up, making us laugh so hard we pee, and loving us so deeply we find comfort in knowing this beautifully messy life we’re living is exactly where we want to be.More On