We mothers wear a lot of hats. I have talked about all the many, many things we do for our families, but as we celebrated this Father’s Day this past weekend I thought about fathers and how much they also do for our families.
Our family has had the cold bug come through our house. In fact it came twice. We all had sore throats and stuffy noses and then when we thought we were getting better, we got sick again!! One of the nights I rolled over and my husband wasn’t in his bed. I peeked in on my daughter to see how she was doing because she had been running a fever and found the most beautiful moment. I found my husband in there giving her medicine and rubbing her head as she lay back down to go to sleep. I couldn’t help but get choked up at how nurturing my husband was being. I went back to bed and just thought of how much parenting roles have changed.
In the 50’s, it seemed the father’s traditional role was “the breadwinner”. He brought home the “bacon” and gave advice and life lessons to the kids as needed. It seems, today, fathers are much more involved in parenting than they were back then. Today, some mothers play the role of both mother and father, and some fathers play the role of stay-at-home dad while the mother works. The family dynamic sure has changed, but then, so have families. When Baby Girl was born, my husband was all for changing her diapers and giving her baths. He helped wherever I needed it. I remember my dad making a comment that changing diapers was “my job” and I told him my husband wanted to do it! I wasn’t asking him to, he was volunteering to!
While mothers wear a lot of hats so do fathers. They are not just providers anymore; you fathers are just as important as mothers. You provide, and protect. You love, and even nurture. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the men have the ability to hold the power of the priesthood. For more details on the priesthood check out Valerie’s article http://ldsblogs.com/22877/priesthood-strengthens-mormon-homes
Our family is blessed to have the power of the priesthood in our home, and I am so grateful my husband lives worthily to uphold his priesthood power.
When we were in Costa Rica, Baby Girl got horribly sick. She ate some bad food at the airport, and our first morning in a strange country, so far from home, she was throwing up the entire day. I had never seen her so sick. I, being pregnant, couldn’t even help since I was still sensitive at the time also, and would have thrown up seeing my daughter throw up. We were starting to get desperate, not knowing how we could make her better. We weren’t in our home, we weren’t by our doctors; it was so scary. After a little bit, my daughter finally stopped throwing up and was even able to take a nap. I collapsed, crying, into my husband’s arms at how our little girl was sick, and giving thanks she finally was resting. My husband then confessed that when he was in the bathroom with her, he gave her a quick priesthood blessing that she would stop throwing up and be able to rest. She had been throwing up all morning and it wasn’t until he gave her a blessing that she was able to stop. I believe so much in my heart that, had it not been for that, she would have been sick a lot longer than she was. After the blessing, she never threw up again, and, by the next day she was back to her old self.
Fathers are just as much needed as mothers. When Baby Girl was little my husband felt a little left out. He was at work all day so when Baby Girl was reaching her milestones, such as crawling, walking, and saying her first word, he felt bad he was missing all those special moments. He felt he wasn’t bonding with her like I was. But that is so not true.
You fathers have a bond that we, as mothers, cannot have. My daughter loves to spend time with her “papa.” They play and rough house, and tickle and play tag. Her face lights up when he comes home, and she wants nothing to do with Mom! You fathers have a unique way of exciting your children to try new things. Moms can be so protective sometimes and you fathers teach your children to take risks while still protecting them. Baby Girl cries some days when Papa has to go to work and even tells him “I don’t want you to go to work, papa!” I know it breaks his heart, but those hours you spend away are teaching your children hard work, responsibility, and mostly, love.
My dad doesn’t think he was a good dad. He feels all he did was put food on the table and clothes on our back. What he doesn’t know was he did so much more than that. My dad never took a day off work. Even if he was sick, he was at work. There were times where he couldn’t go with me to my Girl Scout or church activities but he never worked so much that he neglected his family either. He was there when I really needed him. While he may feel he missed out on a lot, or that all he did was work, what he doesn’t know was what it taught me, and how that has influenced me as a mother. I have seen the sacrifices he did, and know now it wasn’t because he didn’t want to be at my school functions, but it was because he loved me so much that he worked so we could be taken care of. That, to me, is not a bad father, but a really good one.
You fathers do so much for your family. Your children may not see it now, but they will one day. Don’t sell yourselves short; you are equally important. It’s those things you think you are not doing that make the biggest impact. My father has taught me so many life lessons that I have implemented into my own family. His influence has made me a better mother. My husband also has made me a better mother just through his amazing example. He teaches me so many things on a daily basis and I am so grateful to have him by my side.
For those of you who do not have a “Father” figure in your life, don’t forget about your Heavenly Father. He loves unconditionally and is always there for you also. To the mothers who play both roles, like Elder Holland said,
“And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you, and our determination to lend a helping hand even more resolute.”
Let’s remember to celebrate our fathers or father figures not just on a holiday but every day. Remind them they matter too.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!