A Father’s Day Note

The urgent need for a gift for my husband has found me in a pottery cafe, yet again, ruining perfectly good mugs with our children’s painted footprints. The irony is not lost on the toddler, who notes that I am less enthused about her handprints when they adorn the TV screen, the folding doors and my white shorts.

The toddler dips her paintbrush in my coffee.

I am relieved that I will soon run out of crockery to paint, but what will I buy then on behalf of our adoring offspring? I am not yet ready to stoop to the lows of ‘World’s Best Dad’ key rings.

My husband doesn’t need gifts from his children, I reason: our love and appreciation are enough. I consult the toddler, who nods in agreement. She wonders if he might also like a sticker though: everybody likes a sticker.

Excellent, that’s that sorted. All I now need to do is produce a handmade card that could feasibly have been made by a toddler.

How crazy, I think, that my husband hasn’t been a father for much more than two years, but to these small eyes that’s all he is and all he ever will be. Sleepless nights and frantic days have left us both a bit frazzled of late. What if, I think, in lieu of personalised socks and a novelty tie, I spent some more time trying to view things from my husband’s perspective? This could be a useful exercise.

These are just a few things I saw, when I stopped to look:

His patience

I began this blog with the aim of keeping my cool during family mayhem and meltdowns, and taking care of myself in order to better care for others. Occasionally I manage it.

I now suspect that my husband, a feisty Scot, is actually getting better at this calm parenting stuff than I am.

He seems to instinctively know when I’m ready to scream into a pillow, and will step in and take control (maybe it’s because I’m screaming into a pillow). And the frequent toddling intrusions into his home office and working day are (almost) always met with a smile.

His dedication

My husband rules the toddler’s bedtime routine. Whenever I take over I inevitably balls it up, so that when he returns the toddler will be demanding more milk/extra stories/back massages/cherubs playing harp music etc.

The other day I opened a book to read with my daughter on a rainy afternoon and she already knew the words off by heart. I remember my father reading to me when I was young, and I love the thought that the toddler will have the same memories. I realised that the time and focus that my husband gives our daughter at bedtime is something very special.

His energy

When I’m struggling to raise the remote control at the end of a long day, he always seems to find the energy for one more tussle with the toddler, or to hang out the washing that I’ve forgotten about. And all with the extra sleep requirement that a Y chromosome generates (I believe that’s scientific fact?).

His priorities

Shortly after our first child was born my husband introduced me to a mantra from his army days:

‘My rifle, my kit, myself.’

“She’s the rifle,” he explained, as we began to get to grips with this tiny person and her massive amount of kit.

His priorities shifted immediately, and he continues to be last on his list: a knight in shining wet wipes charging around after these small people.

Later that day, my husband passes by, looking suspicious as I gaze at him adoringly. He jangles his keys as he heads out the door. I notice he has no key ring, and wonder if it’s too late to get a personalised one delivered.

Note to husband: if you attempt to give me ‘the gift of empathy’ for my birthday, I will be filing for divorce.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for weekly emails here.

Read more about Parenting Calm here.

Read more about mindfulness here.

Best of Worst
Diary of an imperfect mum
10 Comments
  • Ellen
    June 16, 2016

    This is brilliant. He sounds like a wonderful father! I think my husband is better with patience, and he definitely seems more willing to get up at 6am when the baby won’t go back to sleep! Just throwing this out there…personalised beer mug?! My dad definitely has a few of these paha. One step up from the key ring perhaps? #StayClassyMama

    • Liz Lowe
      June 16, 2016

      Ooooh, good call! Am actually about to search for toddler artwork to turn into cards, as soon as I can put the baby down, which I think will be never…
      Thanks for the lovely comment.

  • Petite Words
    June 16, 2016

    This is a lovely post and a wonderful exercise to see things from another perspective, most inspiring 😘😘😘 #Stayclassy

    • Liz Lowe
      June 16, 2016

      Thank you so much – and great to connect on Twitter too!

  • An imperfect mum (Catie)
    June 16, 2016

    It sounds like you guys make the perfect tag team. There are those days when you need someone to take over when your patience and energy are waining and I love how dedicated your husband is. beautiful traits. I hope your husband has read this beautiful dedication! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    • Liz Lowe
      June 16, 2016

      Thanks Catie! He’s always nervous when he knows he’s been mentioned in the blog, but he liked it. Thanks for hosting #ablogginggoodtime

  • Suranjita
    June 17, 2016

    Dear Liz

    This is so wonderful! He must be so happy to see the post. In our case, both my hubby and I are not that good in the patience department. It’s always like ‘who will lost it first?’:-). Hope there is a pretty present along with the ‘gift of empathy’ on your birthday! Lovely post.

    • Liz Lowe
      June 17, 2016

      Thank you! Patience is pretty hard to hold on to with young kids…

  • Sarah Admissions of a Working Mother
    June 21, 2016

    Lovely post – what a great team you are! Love the mantra as well, very sweet #stayclassymama

    • Liz Lowe
      June 21, 2016

      Thanks Sarah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *