It’s June! Time for outdoor BBQ’s, summer break, and Father’s Day.

So this month our Breastfeeding World Team is celebrating the Active Father, half of our parenting team

“So Lauren,” my brother in law asked, “what went through your mind, when Todd told you that he wanted to take the kids on vacation by himself?” I think I must have looked crazy, trying to process what he was asking me.

Uhhhh… That it was like my own vacation, even though I was working?” I answered blithely. Then I stepped up on my soapbox. “Why is it that because he’s a dad, traveling with his kids alone, people are shocked? But if it was me, no one would blink an eye?”

“No I mean… that’s a lot for a parent, traveling with two kids, alone.” Being a young, active father himself, He meant for any parent, it’s hard. But it got me thinking.

Why is it that an active father is labeled an “amazing dad”, but an active mother is just a mom?

Then I thought about my husband, an active father in every single way. He changes diapers, gives baths, folds laundry, takes the kids on outings by himself. He does this every day, without blinking. And then I thought about the parents in my daycare. The majority of them share the load, evenly. Dad picks up, just as often as mom. Kids are just as happy to see him, rely on him for their daily care, every bit as their mothers. These fathers, today’s fathers, do not take on the role that our fathers did, that our grandfathers did.

Many of today’s families are working families, both the parents, out of the home.

Equal partners in supporting their families. Equal partners at home. You can knock the “millennial” generation all you want- but someone is doing something right, because our children are being raised by mom AND dad.

Society may still see an active father as a “Super Dad”, but the truth is, he’s a partner with his spouse, a partner in his home. The paradigm for fatherhood is changing, just as dramatically as the model for motherhood. And I don’t think these active fathers are getting enough credit.

Maybe, just maybe, as much as moms are feeling pressure to do-and-be-it-all, dad’s are feeling the same?

My husband adores Isabella. Every day at some point, he takes her out to the backyard and they work on “their garden” together. She is constantly talking about the strawberries or tomatoes she is growing. He’s also great about me going out, I go out at least twice a month, between book club and friends and he may mess with me by grumbling but he always makes sure to get rid of his overtime so I can have that alone time. My favorite is when baseball comes on, Isabella knows to get into his lap and he explains the game to her and that keeps her busy for a good half hour.

He’s a great father.

Our daughter has special needs. 13 years old and we still have to change poop diapers and she already started her period . She has also developed quite a chest. Through it all, my husband does his fair share of taking care of all of her needs . He is so patient and kind. We both have our moments still to this day regarding her syndrome. We are able to be strong for each other. To our son, he is also such an amazing role model . He works hard, but never complains when there’s almost always a load of laundry waiting for him to put it the dryer. 

My kids adore him and it’s not hard to see why.

My husband usually works 80 hour weeks, with a max of 4 days off a month. Not including studying and working on presentations at home. He STILL makes time (the nights he’s home) to do bath and bedtime stories, picks up toys, prepares some meals, takes out the garbage, and changes lots of diapers. He loves taking Zeke out to the park by himself.

In those first few months when Zeke was a newborn, we were barely holding it together with no family in the area. But, we took turns holding Zeke at night, giving him a bottle, and he changed way more diapers than I did. He took a newborn to Target by himself, so I could stay home and sleep. After 24+ hour shifts, he would come home and take the baby from me so I could sleep. I have no doubt, that I would have given up on breastfeeding without his support during the first 2.5 months (successfully breasted for 16 months). He made so many meals in those early weeks, washed dishes, etc, etc. I once told my husband that other husbands don’t always do these things, and he said he knew, that his dad never changed one diaper, and my husband is the oldest of five. He followed it up by saying, “I’m not a pu**y”.

This Parenting Thing Is No Walk In The Park

We all need all the help we can get! As society changes, and families need to become two income households in order to survive, we see a shift in the roles of parenting. We see a shift in the roles of parenting because how we are raising our children is changing. Honestly, an amazing shift. A shift that supports an incredible bond between fathers and their children, that we have not seen in generations past. Both partners are understanding the importance of their role in supporting one another, supporting their families both financially and emotionally. 

The Village Starts At Home

Behind the doors of our home, we need to feel loved, heard and supported. As Dads feel the pressure to do it all, us moms want you to know: we couldn’t do it with out you. We see you doing everything you can when you are tired from work. You play with the children in the most beautiful way when you think no one is watching, but we see you. When we walk into the room and its clean and the dishes are done, we see it. We see it, just like you see it when we do those things. Moms know what you are going through, we understand the pressure of this world, the pressure of parenting and holding it all together. On Father’s Day, we are thankful for you, the active father, the things you do, who you are, and who you are helping our children to become. Because our village starts at home, our village starts with you.

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A photography project founded in late 2014 by Alexia Garcia, photographer a Alegares Photography. Breastfeeding World aims to promote breastfeeding and encourage new moms to nurse their babies through the art of photography and story telling.

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