Last week I was at my favorite Trader Joe's doing my regular shopping with the boys. Peter was sitting in the cart and James was snuggled in tight with my Ergo. The lady who checked us out was very kind and sweet with Peter. We got to talking about their age difference (364 days) and I was pleasantly surprised when she didn't flinch. These days I get either support or pity for my Irish twins... Anyway our little conversation led to the fact of how wonderful my husband is. I started bragging to the grocer about how much he helps out and how good he is to me and the boys. She let me finish my bragging and then commented on how far fatherhood has come. A few decades ago, the "hands-on father" didn't exist. She and I entered into a brief period of silence as we both wondered how on earth women did it before. How did our grandmothers do it?
I remember the "I Love Lucy" episode where Ricky is in the waiting room while Lucy is in labor. Leading up to this scene you and the typical crazy hot mess of the father running around to get the hospital bag and almost driving away with out his laboring wife. As comical as it is, there is truth in that chaos. I'm sure there are Dads today who get a little freaked out trying to get to the hospital but that wasn't the case for my husband. Andrew was calm and relaxed (or at least on the outside). On the way to the hospital with James I was begging him to run red lights, however, Andrew managed to stay calm and assure me that we didn't have to do that. In all fairness, I'm not sure how calm he would have been if I had told him in the car that I felt the need to push BUT that's not the point.
I think part of the calm and the break down of that frantic hospital drive is because fatherhood has changed, Specifically fatherhood during pregnancy. Dads come to as many ultrasounds and appointments as possible. I recently overheard an expectant father talking about his wife's cervix and it's progress. Now, I'm not sure about how the wife felt about it but I thought it was awesome! Here is a father fully invested in the journey of his wife. Can you imagine Ricky talking about Lucy's cervix? Even better, can you imagine HOW he would say it?!
I digress... All I want to do is call attention to the fact that fathers have come a long way. I mean just watch an episode of Mad Men and you can easily see the change. This change is beautiful. A couple weeks back when we were at a wedding there was a father of three littles and he was OWNING it. He had one baby strapped up in a carrier and the other two in a stroller. He didn't even look phased. It was easy to see how much he delighted in taking care of his kids.
I think everyone has always known how important fathers are. But within the past few decades, fathers themselves have realized just how important they are. I know that my own father was super hands-on. Being in the room when I was born is the reason he decided to be a doctor! This change has been happening for quite some time. Raising kids isn't just the mom's job anymore. Now I know there are still plenty of bum fathers out there and it breaks my heart. But hopefully something inside them wakes up and they realize that their kids need them.
Dads are trading the cigar in the waiting room for the cervix in the delivery room. And that's a good thing.
Five Favorite things about my husband and his role as a dad.
1) When Peter wakes up during the night (which happens a couple times a week) he gets up to put him back to sleep. Andrew knows I'm up with James a lot so he goes on Peter duty.
2) When I've had a trying day with the boys he says "What can I bring home for dinner?"
3) Whenever he is home or when we are out together as a family, he does the diaper changing. Crazy right?!
4) He is fully supportive of breastfeeding and baby wearing.
5) He would do anything for me and the boys.
I know that last one is cheesy but it's true.
Andrew is a very involved and very loving father. And for that I am so thankful.