What Makes a Good Dad?

Sitting in the therapist’s office, listening to him explain the decision he had made some fourteen years ago – to put his family first – I felt a little bit sad. As he shared his determination to be home for bath time every night, before reading ‘Kipper’ for the umpteenth time, I could see what he was trying to do – convince a complete stranger (and himself) that he is a good dad.

Our current situation has left both of us feeling inadequate at times. Questioning our ability to parent and wondering if perhaps our decisions have been impaired over the years. The truth? Of course they have. As human beings, we are not perfect. But you know what? My husband, the father of my children, is a good dad and I’m not sure that right now, he is aware of that fact. With today being Father’s Day, I would like to do my best to convince him…

  • I could tell you about his prowess in the kitchen – his amazing Yorkshire puddings and the cauliflower cheese that silences even the fussiest of eaters.
  • I could regale tales of his signature move – ‘the dog poo dance’ – or his never-ending supply of tuneless songs reeled out whenever the mood needs lightening.
  • I could talk about my high expectations and his attempt to try to meet them; his humility in accepting that he could do better, that often gets overlooked.
  • I could tell you about the countless times he has returned home from work to go straight out into the garden; responding with tireless energy to his son’s request to practice penalties.
  • I could share of his instinct to ‘get stuff done’; a habit that drives us all crackers at times but one that demonstrates his willingness to help.
  • I could talk about his most recent role of ‘chief mathematician’; one that he took on when the homework went beyond my capabilities and requires the utmost patience.
  • I could tell you about a time, just a few weeks ago, when he graciously accepted help from a family therapist; something that my own wounded pride and aching mother’s heart was finding almost impossible to do.

But the moment that will stick in my memory forever, is one that took place eight long weeks ago, in an unfamiliar hospital room, not so far from home.

When he pleaded with his daughter to let him take care of her, instead of a team of qualified strangers…I knew. When he offered to give up work for three months in order to do just that…I knew. When he accepted her decision to leave the familiarity of home and the help of total strangers…I knew.

A good dad would do anything for his children.

Father and daughter

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

Pink Pear Bear

21 Comments on What Makes a Good Dad?

  1. Plutonium Sox
    June 19, 2016 at 7:11 am (8 months ago)

    What a lovely post. And for the record, you are a fabulous wife to a fabulous dad – you’ve reminded me what a terrible wife I am because I’ve forgotten to write a father’s day card. Off to do it now, thanks for the reminder!
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted…Inspirational Parents #14My Profile

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  2. Carie
    June 19, 2016 at 9:54 am (8 months ago)

    Oh what a beautiful post – and an awesome Dad too – I hope you make him read this :)
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  3. Sarah MumofThree World
    June 19, 2016 at 1:10 pm (8 months ago)

    You had me in tears there! What an amazing dad! Knowing my husband and how hard he works and how much time he spends working, the idea of a dad offering to give up work for three months to focus 100% on his child’s recovery is incredible. Happy Father’s Day to you all. You’ve had a tough few months, but hopefully better times are around the corner for you. x
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  4. Louise
    June 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm (8 months ago)

    That’s a very moving post and you both sound like wonderful, wonderful parents x
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  5. Andy
    June 19, 2016 at 6:32 pm (8 months ago)

    This man is not only a wonderful father, he is a fabulous husband, brother, uncle, son in law and more besides. But most importantly to us, a dear friend who has always welcomed us into his home with love and a good laugh. Happy Father’s Day OH, we think you’re doing an absolutely wonderful job and think the world of you.xxx

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    • Suzanne
      June 26, 2016 at 9:35 pm (8 months ago)

      Thank you my friend. As always, your support has been very much appreciated. x x

      Reply
  6. Liz Smith
    June 19, 2016 at 9:02 pm (8 months ago)

    Both of you are BRILLIANT parents, and your daughter knows that too. It is just sometimes easier for total strangers to be able to look in from the outside. Graciousness and humility to accept help for all the family is quite obviously one of his major strengths and God will reward him….and you …. For doing that.

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  7. Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations
    June 19, 2016 at 9:53 pm (8 months ago)

    Love this Suzanne… i have been thinking of you all so much. Isn’t it wonderful to know that our children’s futures our not dependent on our successes or failures, our good moments, or our not so good moments, but in the Father’s hands? Praying for your girl, that she will look to the Saviour. And what a blessed girl she is with you two as her parents. Xx

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    • Suzanne
      June 26, 2016 at 9:34 pm (8 months ago)

      I don’t know what I would do without my faith Claire – such a comfort in knowing that the future is already planned out. Doesn’t stop me from trying to take control every now and again though 😉

      Reply
  8. Sam
    June 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm (8 months ago)

    Aw. I’ve got a couple of tears in my eyes reading this Suzanne. Your husband is clearly someone who would do anything for his family and you can’t get a better dad than that. Xx #thetruthabout
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    • Suzanne
      June 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm (8 months ago)

      I think that’s just you John!

      Reply
  9. This Mum's Life
    June 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm (8 months ago)

    This really is a beautiful post, your husband sounds absolutely incredible. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you as parents, to be in the situation you are in. I clicked the link and read the post about your daughter, and I think with mental health, there can never be ‘over sharing,’ I think that the more it is spoken about, the less of a stigma there is. I also first began suffering with anxiety and depression during 6th form. I have had occasional episodes throughout my adult life, culminating in severe postnatal anxiety, during which I was also nearly hospitalised. A brilliant team helped me manage the situation at home, but there were times where I would’ve welcomed being managed on a ward, when it really was getting too much to bear. My husband refused to tell his parents what was happening, as he said they just ‘wouldn’t understand’ a mental health problem, and it would make them ‘uncomfortable.’ Whenever they visit, my medication that I leave in a prominent place so that I don’t forget it, has to be put out of sight, which I get very annoyed about, because it just exacerbates the problem, rather than educates them about it. My parents were amazing, like your daughter will think you’re amazing. I’m sure my parents questioned whether they’d done anything wrong, just as you are, but they were fabulous parents, and mental illness can strike anyone at any time, in any circumstances. I wish your daughter all the best with her recovery, and I hope your husband never loses faith that he is an awesome dad. x
    #bigpinklink
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    • Suzanne
      June 26, 2016 at 9:23 pm (8 months ago)

      I’ve questioned everything – I think that’s a parents’ default! Your parents sound amazing and what a shame you have to hide things from your inlaws. It’s time this changed isn’t it? There should be no stigma around it but I understand what your husband is saying about people not understanding. It’s a hidden illness that people can’t see. That’s the problem. x

      Reply
  10. Tim
    June 23, 2016 at 11:08 pm (8 months ago)

    Unquestionably a good dad! I always think you can tell a good dad (or, for that matter, a good mum) by the way they react in bad times. If they’re still looking for the good – or simply the better – in things when times are dark, they’re a good parent. Anyone can be a good parent when things are going well. What was it Kipling said about treating triumph and disaster the same? #thetruthabout

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  11. Savannah
    June 26, 2016 at 7:07 pm (8 months ago)

    Cauliflower cheese?! Tell me more!
    Your husband truly sounds like a wonderful and loving father, and I cannot imagine how difficult these last few months must have been on him, and your entire family. It is so easy to question our performance as parents, especially when things seem troublesome. But you’re right, a good dad, a good parent, loves their child to the ends of the earth. You are both wonderful parents, and your strength is inspiring.

    Reply

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