When L was a toddler she used to call Saturday “Daddy Day”.
And just now, T asked me when “real Daddy Day” is, having been told about Father’s Day at school. This reminded me of those early days with a toddler and a baby, muddling through and totally winging it together.
I sometimes think dads are left behind a bit during the whole baby time, with a lot of attention being put on the mums. Yet, it can be equally traumatic/life-changing/crazy/exciting/happy/(*insert all the other emotions) for him.
I once heard a radio phone-in about the amount of dads traumatised by watching difficult births. Some women may snort at this subject, but really I’m ashamed to have not thought the whole process could profoundly affect men too. With the lack of control that comes with not actually being the one physically getting the baby out, witnessing some shocking labour scenes is bound to stay with you. After we had L, I remember a stunned silence hitting us, and that shared recognition of an ultimately huge event.
Maybe dads historically talked less about the nitty gritty of parenthood, but with the rise of daddy blogs, amazing dad Instagram accounts and general a better amount of focus on men, hopefully this is changing. The ever complicated emotional rollercoaster of parenthood will always be a long and arduous journey, made amazing by so many incredible dads and lifelong dad figures.
Aside from all the material treats and homemade cards, this is undoubtedly what Father’s Day is all about. A celebration of the dads in our lives who pull us up when we fall down and drag us through the difficult days, as well as sharing the laughs and sunshine. Whether these are grandpas, father-in-laws, stepfathers or fatherly role models.
For me, I’m grateful to have a partner in crime who will hopefully share some of his Father’s Day chocolate before the kids eat it all…