Dad. Daddy. Papa. Father. I kind of knew when I chose my partner for life that I was choosing the father for my children, but it was a bit tricky at dating stage to really know what he’d be like as a Dad. I hoped he would love my children with the kindness, loyalty and ferocity as he loved me, that he would speak to them as lovingly and kindly as he spoke to me, that he would cheer them on and inspire them to be all they can be, celebrating their successes and scraping them back up off the floor when they fall, just the way he does with me. But seeing him holding our new-born in his arms with a glow of euphoria on his face, and watching him dancing our son to sleep through the night was beautiful confirmation that I had chosen a gem, a legend, an amazing dad. As the children grow, I’ve watched in wonder as Tim encourages, helps, feeds and cleans up after both our kids, showing endless kindness and patience every day.
A father has always been important. A father figure is one you look up to, who inspires you and leads you. Nowadays fathers are required to be so much more than the bread winner and the authority figure at home of previous generations. We all expect, and want, much more involvement than that.
Prince William described changing his first nappy as “a badge of honour” which it undoubtedly is. We have moved forwards light years in terms of how much dads are involved in parenting. But nappies are just the start of a whole life dedicated to the practical love and support of your kids. I heard the word “Dadmin” this week and loved it as it sums up so much of what dads do. This bank holiday Monday I am typing away inside (unusually being a bit quieter than normal as I have no voice) watching Tim admiringly as he devotes his day off to fixing two bikes and creating GCSE revision timetables for the week. Parenting is the ultimate exercise in team work – starting with nappies and sleepless nights and developing to include taxi-ing your offspring to their various extra-curricular activities on the weekend, to extra coaching on school subjects you have expertise in, encouraging your kids to exercise and giving constant hair and styling advice. The millennial dad is now much more likely to be as engaged in bringing up their kids as mum – with dads wanting more flexible working to be around for the kids - not just at the “fun” moments like holidays, Disneyland and school plays - but the day in day out part of parenting, nursery drop off, school pick up. And this is not just because Mum is also working full time (which she probably is), it’s because Dads really value this time to connect with and be there for their children. My daughter is so proud of having her dad pick her up from school every day – and Tim loves the fact he can prioritise day to day interaction with her and just “being there” after school for our son.
Dads are so important – they shape our understanding of ourselves – through their love and approval, allow us to thrive and become who we want to be and shape us in ways we spend the rest of our lives understanding and unpicking – both for good and for bad.
While I was growing up, my dad was absolutely brilliant to be around. He called himself Mr Tickle (for obvious reasons) and had a sense of adventure and the outrageous that was magical as a child, excruciatingly embarrassing as a teenager, and hugely appreciated as an adult. One of my fondest memories of my dad involve him getting my soon to be in-laws to skip around the kitchen table. Yes, really. It was as silly as it sounds, and they love him!
So, this father’s day, it’s about expressing appreciation for all the million and one ways your dad has been there for you, held you, made you laugh, wiped your bum and your tears, done the DIY, been on the end of the phone when you missed the last train and just been there for you.
We’ve done a few mugs which we hope will help you say thank you – and remind your dad just how brilliant he is and how much he matters to you.
As my son says: “he’s the real G”. I have no idea what it means, but apparently, it’s good.
Check out our Father's Day range here: https://www.love-mugs.co.uk/fathersday