An Unconventional Letter to Dads {for moms to read too}

While Father’s Day sentiments still linger, and it may seem like just another commercial holiday, I think it is an amazing opportunity to acknowledge what often is not discussed:  the importance of dads in our lives and the impression and the imprint they leave on us forever.

I have not, admittedly yet unintentionally, been the biggest advocate for men’s health. Much of my energy has gone into trying to empower women and children.  Some of that is based on my experience because it seems that the world still tilts in the favor of a more paternalistic society, and women still mold themselves to accommodate men. That collective experience made me want to help women and children throughout the world and encourage them to change and shift that paradigm.

However, with a little maturity and some amazing men in my life, I think you guys are a bit under appreciated as we women set out to “conquer the world.”  From discussions in the exam room to our broader scale debate on power, misogyny and the world, here is where I land.

Your gifts are different from ours.  At your best, you are all a steadying force, a calming spirit, often less anxious and obsessive than we women.  You may not talk but you do internalize. You may not cry but you do get depressed.

Most of you do not make lists and create to do items that keep you “checked out.” You know how to shut your work off and have fun.  You laugh at us, exacerbate us and make us better.  Your brain is different from ours and quite honestly, we need the balance. Yes, we know you cannot always multitask and do twenty things at once, but that’s ok, and we love you anyways.

Our children want to be us and that includes you.  They adore and admire you, and they watch your every move.  Our daughters just want to be with you and seek your acceptance, guidance and unconditional love. Their self-esteem, choice of a partner and even a career are heavily influenced by YOU. Our sons look to you as a leader and view the world through your likeness.

The gift of an amazing dad is priceless and as women, it is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children and our future generations.  Yes, the world still needs work in this area. And power corrupted, any gift used incorrectly, can lead to chaos and destruction. But for those dads who wake up every morning, who show up, who help the kids, shower our homes with unconditional love and use your testosterone to serve and protect day in and day out—THANK YOU!  It does not go unnoticed, ignored or swept aside.  We as women need you and all that you bring to the table.  Our children need you.  And we thank you.  So while you may have enjoyed a weekend golfing, or sitting in your recliner and man cave, don’t forget about how much your daily contribution counts. Learn how to take care of your health, and keep taking care of those precious children—our future.

Happy Father’s Day!