Friday, June 19, 2015

I am Terrible at Father's Day

This post is sponsored by Minute Maid as part of their #DoinGood campaign. The give-away is now closed and the $250 gift card has been awarded!

I am terrible at Father's Day. I never know what to get my husband and the ideas I have for my father are borderline demented. For example, I was very disappointed that the three foot tall garden gnomes are no longer available at my local retailer, as that would have been perfect for my dad. Because everyone wants an enormous garden gnome, right? Yes, of course they do.

I think one of the reasons I'm so bad at Father's Day is that my husband is a pretty self-sufficient guy, who usually says he doesn't need anything when asked. He also hates to spend money. These things combined make it very hard to know what to get for him. So we have to get creative and that's usually where we fail. I guess I could be like: "Happy Father's Day! Here is a pack of undershirts I got you at Costco because you're a wonderful dad and I noticed your old ones were fraying because our dryer eats things. God bless!"

That seems insufficient.

Let's revisit a couple of lovely items my husband has gotten for Father's Day in the past:
  • Last year, Mini insisted on buying him a 3-pack of deodorant. He was like: "Thanks?" and then said he actually only needed one. She gently stroked his back and said: "No, three."
  • Five years ago, the children were torn between buying him adult diapers and mind control, but ultimately got bored with the conversation and got him nothing.
  • In 2012, Mini drew him a picture of a phallic butterfly and provided me the gift of a hearty laugh at his discomfort.
Given that this man works harder than any person I've ever met to take care of this family, he really deserves better. I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about Mother's Day and how we all seem to get it wrong. Maybe my basic approach to Father's Day is all wrong, too.

The key to Mother's Day for me was to re-frame what it was really about. It's certainly not about greeting cards or lame jewelry bought in a strip mall. It's about your family showing you that they get it; that they see how hard you work every day to take care of them and be there for them.

I think this year, my husband will get a few gifts but what he'll really be receive from his family is the truth. This life that we've built together over the past 20 years is nothing that we expected. It's simultaneously a total goat rodeo and better than anything I could have imagined. I don't say enough about how grateful I am for all that he does, in large part because we don't say enough period. Life is too crazy and by the time there's a quiet minute, we're both exhausted.

None of it works without him. None of it would be any fun without him. None of us can imagine a world where he's not always there for us, the biggest, baddest cowboy in our ridiculous goat rodeo. There is no one that could do what he does for us and there is no way we could love him more.

This post is sponsored by Minute Maid as part of their awesome #DoinGood campaign. Parents struggle but they are doing so much better than they think. If you'd like to be in the running for a $250 Visa Gift card, tell me about your family or about a dad you know who is doing a better job than he might think. Post a comment for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card to continue “Doin’ Good” with your kids!

Now watch this video, and try not to cry.

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2015

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  1. My husband is the father of our 4 kiddos (some bio and adopted through foster care) He does construction to pay the bills while I get to stay at home and drink coffee and parent. Most times he feels like he is failing because I come from a wealthy family, and we definitely aren't living a wealthy lifestyle. He feels like he is failing when his brothers are together talking about their their masters degrees, and he only has an associate degree. Yet we can walk through gorgeous neighborhoods and he can point out all the homes he has built with his callused hands. He comes home after working in the heat or cold all day, falls to the floor and enjoys the kids wrestling with him. He is a man of few words, but when he is ready to talk, you better be ready to listen because it is going to be "pinterest quote" worthy. He's buff and tan also. That always helps.

  2. My husband and I will spend Fathers Day at the bedside of our critically ill 16 year old son. A day after being selected to a hockey team, he was in ICU fighting for his life. He has had two heart surgeries in the past 10 days, and awaits a heart transplant. My husband has been my rock, and I couldn't imagine walking this journey with anyone but him. Follow our story at / mitchellmielnik.

  3. My husband and I met on his 16th birthday - and he went home and told his parents he'd met the woman he was going to marry. I made him wait 10 years, and we married on his 26th birthday. Now we have a 13-year-old visually impaired son and I have systemic lupus, a chronic, debilitating disease that will slowly kill me, one organ system at a time. But this man takes his kid to car shows and teaches him about how to be a Southern Gentleman (hold the door for your mother, carry the groceries in the house!), and looks for opportunities for all three of us to make memories together. He's truly the "heavy lifter" in our home now that I am sick more often than not, and he works hard to make sure that our son has the opportunities (Space Camp for the Visually Impaired) to grow into a healthy, productive member of society. And I'm totally with you - I have NO IDEA what to get him for Father's Day. So $250 would send him to one of his out of town car shows for a weekend with the guys, and his beloved 1964 Galaxie, whom I call the Dirty Mistress.

  4. My husband is an incredible man. For the first 5 years of our currently 7 year marriage, he worked his night shift job (12 hours a night) and operated his landscaping company during the day. There were many, many days when he would come home from work at 8 a.m., sleep for literally one hour, and get up to go out and cut lawns. Then, when our second baby was born, he decided to "retire" from lawns so that he would not miss our children's childhood. Now, he is home with our children during the week while I work, then goes off to work at night. I am so proud of him and how he loves our kids. He is building an incredible relationship with them, and I can honestly say that I am not bothered that he's our kids' "favorite" parent right now; I know how uncommon that is, since a lot of the time, most of the parenting duties fall to the mother. But I'm fortunate enough to have a husband who does more than his fair share of the parenting and household work. The best thing about him is that you would never know what an amazing person he is just from meeting him - he is quiet and reserved, not outgoing or charming. He just does what's right, over and over, day after day, not caring whether anyone ever gives him any props. I would choose him again in a heartbeat.

  5. When my husband was a child, his father struggled with alcoholism. He'd come home from work drunk, after stopping at the bar, and pass out on the couch. So, you can imagine the type of role model he was for my husband as far as being a father. A big NON example, right?

    My husband struggles with mental illness (as his own father probably does as well - helloooo, self-medication). This means his perception of himself is completely screwy because of wonky brain chemistry. He thinks he's AWFUL at being a father, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    In reality he is one of the hardest workers I've ever known. For years he put in 14 hour days, 6 days a week to provide for our little family. On his one day off, he'd give me the night off in the kitchen by making dinner for us and allowing me time to go to the pool with our son. He frequently does the laundry (without destroying our clothes - yea, team!) and is an AMAZING math tutor for the Boy, because mommy doesn't do algebra well :p.

    Even though he struggles with anxiety, he makes a point of being there for school performances and soccer games. This, despite the fact that I ALWAYS want to sit RIGHT UP FRONT where he feels like the whole world is watching him, and his anxiety level goes through the roof. He wants so badly to be there, to be present in our lives - not to check out the way his own dad did, through alcohol.

    For that, and for so many things, he has earned my admiration as a parent. I love him dearly, and am proud to call him my husband and the father of our son.

  6. Our 11 year old son is Autistic and has severe ADHD. I was a social worker with ulcers with an 8 tear old hot mess 3 years ago when we decided I should stay home. The Hubby has had to work twice as hard as as result but our son is thriving! Everyone compliments me on what I have done for our son, and I have worked very hard using all that social work training at home for free. BUT...I couldn't do what I do if he didn't do what he does. He works every minute of overtime he is offered in spite of it being a physical factory job and him being 52 years old. He also grows a garden and sells the vegetables and recycles metals to earn extra money. After 26 years together, I appreciate and love him more than ever.

  7. Our 11 year old son is Autistic and has severe ADHD. I was a social worker with ulcers with an 8 tear old hot mess 3 years ago when we decided I should stay home. The Hubby has had to work twice as hard as as result but our son is thriving! Everyone compliments me on what I have done for our son, and I have worked very hard using all that social work training at home for free. BUT...I couldn't do what I do if he didn't do what he does. He works every minute of overtime he is offered in spite of it being a physical factory job and him being 52 years old. He also grows a garden and sells the vegetables and recycles metals to earn extra money. After 26 years together, I appreciate and love him more than ever.

  8. I don’t have a dad but my husband is a wonderful father to our 3 (soon to be 4) kids. He works very hard and spends all his free time with us. He’ll sacrifice himself for our happiness and I’m grateful to him everyday.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  9. Jeremy works so hard at work and is exhausted by the time he gets home but he always has time for his little boy. He makes sure he knows that he loves him. He is sacrificing a little right now in order to gain a lot in the end. He's a great role model for our son! ❤️

    stephanie_coldwell07 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  10. My husband is doing a good job. He works a lot of hours, but still spends plenty of quality time with our kids. He leads my son's boy scout troop and reads with my daughter.


  11. My grandfather took over when my dad left. He did everything he could to make sure we were happy and had what we needed. It meant a lot.
    njharmonyg at aol dot com

  12. My husband is what every father should be. When we met seven years ago, I was a divorced mother of five. Once things got serious, he jumped right into the father role, despite having no kids of his own. He has been there through everything and is all they (or I ) could have ever asked for as a father figure and role model for my kids. He gives every day! He is called a step father because he stepped up when their father didn't!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Our son was born in South Korea. A year later I was consumed with depression and my husband agreed to leave his job and parents to come start a new life in the US. As we've readjusted he's been an awesomely supportive husband and father who's had to take a lower paying job than he had in his home country as he learns English and performs super daddy duties as I go to trainings for my teaching certification.

  14. I have 2 Dad's in my life that are awesome. My dad worked his entire life to take care of his family. He was there for us always. at least he was always there till dementia set in. Now he's still there but doesn't always know us. Oddly all the years office love and caring tender heart make us understand that though his minds not all there all the time he still loves us. The last time I saw him before I left I went to him and had a serious talk to tell him good bye. It was very clear that he knew who I was and was working very hard to be there for me. When I call he doesn't usually know who I am but sometimes he asks about where I am and wants to come visit me. Sadly I live a long way away from my parents and can't afford to visit often. Skype is my friend. I can call and see him. The internet is truly a blessing for me so that I can still see and communicate with this wonderful man. I wish everyone had great memories of their fathers like I do.

  15. My husband, Mike works hard to provide for our family. After he has put in a long day at the office he makes the time to read to our daughter and help her dress her Barbies or baby doll. He helps our son out with homework or the latest computer issue or they work on restoring the old Ford tractor. He has taken over the role of Cubmaster for our son's pack and puts in many hours a week to ensure that the Pack's activities will run smoothly. He rarely gets free time to do what he wants and he never complains. The kids and I are very blessed to have such a great guy in our lives.

  16. Married 12 years. My husband is Daddy to 3 girls, ages 5, 7, and 11. He has been head over heels in love with them since the moment he laid eyes on them. He has worked jobs he hated to keep food on the table. He taught himself how to repair cars to save money on labor costs. When our middle daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 4, he rotated hospital stays with her, and home stays with the other two, while working full time, to make sure we expressively loved each of them through a very difficult year. He threw a surprise party when she finished chemotherapy. He taught our girls how to ride bikes and kick a soccer ball. And he still "dates" me, after 12 years and a lot of trial. He volunteers as a professional photographer at events for pediatric cancer families. He's my hero. elizabeth(dot)renker(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. My husband is an amazing dad to our three young sons. He works long hours at his job so I can stay home during the week with the kiddos, and he even managed to be a loving, involved father when he had cancer and was going through chemo. (Youngest son was brand-new at the time.) He never complained, and he amazes me daily with his strength. When I had my own complicated health issues last year, he stood by my side and took over most of the childcare while working full time. He's a great role model to our boys!

  18. My brother works hard and as a single father to an energetic boy even when he comes home hot and tired, he cooks, cleans, plays, goes to ball games, etc. He worries that he isn’t #DoinGood, but he is! His son is courteous, honest, intelligent young man.

  19. My fiance... How do I begin.
    He is the perfect daddy that he didnt have to be. My sons biological father has never been in his life.. And before we even talked about moving in together my fiance took my son in as his own. He taught him to walk, to play ball, to use manners, and to watch for cars... All the things a daddy would do, that he didnt have to do. My son is getting old enough to realize what daddy means, and has hinted my fiance being daddy. He works so hard, and puts my sons needs before his own... He never lets my son go a day without at least playing a game of ball after work. He. Is just perfect...and it means everything because He didnt have to be.




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