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Dads who feel unappreciated, we see you and we thank you

You work harder than anyone will ever know and you play harder than perhaps you should with your aching back. You love the giggles and screams of your babies no matter how old they are! You are the Dad who tickles and wrestles until the house is full of squeals and your heart is full of joy.

Your kids are your first thought when you wake up and your last thought when you close your eyes. You are the Dad who misses his kids when work calls him away from them and you worry about them way more than you care to admit and wonder what they are up to.

That first time you held your child

You likely helped your wife out of bed when she was nine months pregnant and I’m sure you’ve driven to the grocery store as fast as you could to satisfy another one of her intense pregnancy cravings. Speaking of driving fast, when you got the call that she was in labor (again) you rushed to the hospital.

You are the Dad who saw his first baby and went into full on protection mode. When the doctor placed your sweet smelling bundle into your arms your heart was forever changed because you have never loved someone with your entire being. Sitting there holding a piece of yourself put you in complete awe and nothing in you life since has ever compared or even come close to that moment.

It wrecked you and every day since you vow to be a better dad than you were yesterday.

We know you’re tired, too

You wish you had more patience when you walk into the door after another long day. You are the Dad who is needed when he wakes up and when he gets home. You aren’t really sure what rest is anymore and sometimes you think that maybe you are pushing yourself just a little too hard. Actually, you know you are pushing yourself way too hard but you reason that it’s just what you have to do.

You don’t like admitting you are tired because you love nothing more than being called “Dad.” If fact, no title you have ever received has made your heart swell more than “Daddy.”

When you hear stories about less than stellar Dad’s and see comments bashing fathers on social media your heart sinks. The thought of being lumped into a category like that makes you cringe because your kids are an extension of yourself. You hurt when they hurt and you can’t wait to hear “I love you Dad” at the end of another day. Headaches are pretty common for you and so is overworking yourself whether at home or on the job.

Thank you for supporting us

You are the Dad who notices all the hard earned money getting spent sometimes faster than it can be brought it in. No one says anything about it or thanks you for it. The days run into months and years and sometimes you feel like you are that that money tree your parents told you didn’t exist when you were a kid.

You take care of needs and cover costs. When an unexpected expense comes up you work more to make ends meet.

We know there is only one of you

You are the Dad who hates having to miss anything to do with your family and you try desperately to be three people at once: the hard-worker, the good husband, the present father. Sometimes it’s a lot and you have chest pains. Sometimes you’re struggling. But you hide it away. Opening up about challenges is not your thing. You push them down and move on.

You may also be the Dad whose heart beams with pride when he hears a simple “thank-you,” from his kids or his spouse or anyone who notices your efforts. You don’t expect appreciation for what you do of course, you are used to going on and through life without it, but sometimes that little dose of appreciation from those you love, those you work with and those you look up too means everything. It may just be the tiny inkling of motivation that keeps your pressing on when your days are overloaded and you nights are far too long.

We should say ‘thank you’ more

You are the Dad who tucks those “thank-yous” and words of appreciation deep down inside for a rainy day. You repeat then to yourself when life is heavy. When your wife is venting and your kids are screaming you remember just how valuable and how important you are to your family. That time your wife told you what a wonderful father you are still rings in your head. You would never admit it but sometimes you wish she would say it more. Sometimes you wish your kids would say “Thank-you” a little more too.

Sometimes you wish, sometimes you dream of a world where Dad’s are appreciated just a little bit more than you’ve experienced since you’ve become one. You don’t expect praise but you can’t help but grin when your wife peeks around the corner, sees you comfort the crying baby and mouths “you’re the best Daddy.” You don’t expect praise but you can’t help but smile when visiting your parents and they point out just how patient you are with your kids. You remember their words and they motivate you to be even more patient next time.

The world is a better place because of you

The thing about you is that you don’t expect praise or appreciation or “thank you”; but when these things come in your direction they stay with you forever.

If no one has thanked you lately, and you feel unnappreciated, please don’t stop. The world is a better place because of you. Your kids are better off because of you. Your spouse is worn out and forgets to say it but she absolutely could not live without you.

Ignore the dad-bashing that you hear because that is not you. You are the above and beyond dad, the extra dad, the dad who is one day at a time changing the narrative for all dads. You are proud of your title and you wear it well: those children with their arms around your neck appreciate you far more than you will ever know.

Kali Dawson

Kali is a School Teacher, Pilates Instructor, Mama of two young children and a beautiful 2020 Baby. She is Married to her real-life Superhero. When she's not holding small hands or looking for raised hands you will find her writing fervently about faith and family. To read more, you can find her on Facebook at: Faith, Family, Freelance.

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