Sometimes, it can be easier to appreciate your mother more than your father, especially if your mother stayed home with you during your youth. But when you look a little closer, you will see how much responsibility falls on the shoulders of your father to ensure stability in the home as well—financially, emotionally, physically and sometimes spiritually. Here are some things your dad probably went through in order to be a great father to you.
1. He put family first.
There were times when your dad didn’t feel like getting out of bed and heading to work or when he wanted to pursue his artistic dreams instead, but he had to put all of that on hold to make sure his children could attain and fulfill their dreams.
2. He had to act stupid to make his kids laugh.
Perhaps you can call it “humbling,” but he was happy to act out a bit silly to make sure his kids were happy, whether it was dressing like a clown or singing a nursery rhyme.
3. He had to buy a lot of books—kid’s books.
Buying books became necessary. Sometimes, it even went beyond that: he had to become familiar with the characters, authors and the bookseller.
4. He had to be the perfect role model.
He may not have been as good looking as Tom Hanks or a Tom Cruise, but he had to be wonderful enough for his kids to be proud of him. His kids observed his actions most of the time, and wanted to be sure he practiced what he preached; this meant he had to meet certain personal standards to be the ideal father.
5. He had to read to his children.
If you thought it stopped with buying a book, you would be amazed how much action he had to take after that. If he didn’t stick to the routine and read you Dr. Seuss, he’d have to be there to console you after the resulting nightmares and anxiety you felt from not getting your nightly reading fix.
6. He had to do some dirty work.
Even if his spouse was the one making the meals and changing the diapers or other household chores, perhaps he had to be there to deal with the major handy-work, or at least, he had to call someone he knew to be handy.
7. He had to give you a father-child sex talk.
When you reached adolescence and you needed to learn about your body and the body of the opposite gender and face awkwardness, he was there to offer you a heads-up. Although it may not have been a comfortable chat for him, it bonded you and helped you out in the long run.
8. He had to manage his emotions.
Even if he cried, he never did it in front of the family. When there were difficult and tempestuous situations, he would act as an umbrella or a shield for the family. He didn’t lose control of his temper; somehow, he had to be the man to handle the situation just right.
9. He had to be mature.
He had to put away all signs of immaturity and face what was ahead of him in his family. He had to be firm on himself and quit acting like a child. He understood the importance of being at your basketball game rather than having a drink with his friends.
10. He wanted the best for you.
He may have never had the best of things in life; things may have been rough for him as he grew older, but he never used that as an excuse not to give you the best, which you deserved.
11. He was attentive to your needs.
He would listen and wanted to understand your opinion on a subject. He didn’t ridicule you for speaking out, but he would commend you and offered a listening ear.
12. He didn’t miss your birthdays.
Nothing could be more important than for him to be there for you as you turned older. He never forgot it. And he bought you presents and offered you more responsibility as you matured.
13. He gave you the best education.
He wanted you to be able to stand confidently and have a place in society. He wanted to brag about you and say special things to his friends about you. He had to give you the best education—even if the price could be high, he didn’t mind working extra hard.
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