To My Husband, On Father’s Day
I’m a mother. I stay home, take care of my kids, feed my family, wash the clothes…you get the idea. I’m a homemaker. I don’t always care for this word. But I have to admit it is accurate. My job is to make a home for my family. I want them to want to be here. I want this to be a refuge when things get too hard, when the fun and games of the park, next door neighbors, play dates, work, when these are too much, they can all come home.
Sometimes the kids say things like, “you don’t work mom, but dad does.” It hurts my feelings. But if I think about what they are saying, that I don’t have a job in an office where I have to go every day, than I have to admit they’re right. See, in this team the glamorous job goes to dad. He may not agree with me, but to his kids and to me, he is a hero.
He goes to work every day. He is stressed and tired and anxious for our welfare. He holds the world on his shoulders. The kids see that he is important, not just to them but to those he works with every day. We go and visit him at work and the kids marvel at the tubes and machines that snake the halls. The busy people walking back and for and in and out of mysterious rooms with doors marked, “Do Not Enter.”
His is a job. It brings home a paycheck. It satisfies his need to be important and useful. Dad’s need to feel important and useful. His work is difficult, stressful, and requires a lot of him. Still he comes home every day to us and makes us his priority. Most of all, his example gives my kids a great role model. Someone they can look up to and say, “Well, my dad is a…” They admire him and are awed by him.
Some day, when they can articulate what made their dad so special, they will say, my dad loved us so much that he worked every day to give us a nice place to live and food to eat and toys to play with. I hope they will also realize that their dad loved them so much that he respected their mom and he made her part of the team, and that’s why she stayed home with them and didn’t “work.”