Stepping Up – a Father’s Day Reflection

“We have a rule in our house,” said a female Member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly at an event called Campaign School for Women that I was attending all weekend. “Whichever parent that is not in the middle of an election is what we call the P.I.C.

– the Parent In Charge. The P.I.C. makes all the decisions, plans all the birthday parties and does all the laundry.” This system became necessary in this woman’s house because she is married to a Member of Parliament, another elected politician.

Campaign School had me out of the house for most of Father’s Day weekend, and so the Honourable MLA’s comment about the necessity of spousal support was particularly relevant to me. Dan encouraged me to attend, knowing that it would mean he would be the Parent in Charge for all of Father’s Day weekend, and knowing that even when I was home, I’d have very little energy to devote much time to the family. He stepped up without me even asking for it.

Stepping Up - A Father

It is so easy to grow complacent, even negative, about someone you live with and share responsibilities with on a daily basis. An unfortunately packed dishwasher can send me sighing and rolling my eyes instead of feeling grateful that my husband helped with the dishes that were piling up. Cupboards (always) left open is the quickest way for me to forget to appreciate that my husband makes dinner on a nearly daily basis. As with any long-term relationship, the good deeds slowly start to go unnoticed while the small annoying details suddenly become glaring.

I do this constantly. I don’t fight it enough.

But then Father’s Day weekend rolls around – a weekend when I am supposed to celebrate the father of my children while teaching my kids the importance of being appreciative of the people in our lives that we take for granted the most. I stepped up, but not in the way that I was “supposed to”. I stepped up personally, going somewhere that scared me to experience something that would be life changing. And I left my family at home. The person who stepped up at home was my husband, my incredibly supportive husband, who wanted me to go and do and experience.

It shouldn’t take my husband stepping up for me to recognize what an incredible husband and father he is. And I know that had this Father’s Day come like any other Father’s Day, I would have found so many reasons to appreciate and celebrate Dan. But this Father’s Day was unusual, and it meant that my husband’s awesomeness was thrown in my face without even needing to look for it.

Women can take on the roll of both mother and father if they need to, but I am so grateful that I don’t need to. I rely on my husband, most of the time without even realizing it. During those beautiful times when I take off my blinders and actually realize how much I depend on Dan as husband and father, I fall in love all over again.

Father’s Day weekend turned out to be about me this year, but as such, it also shed so much light onto who my husband is. He is my rock. He is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. He is a capable and loving father to our children. He is my partner, and I am so grateful that I have him to rely on.

My husband deserves to be celebrated. And I promise to look harder next time for all the times when my husband does step up, even if it means I have to close a few cupboard doors behind him.

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