Whenever any sort of holiday or occasion rolls around that involves giving gifts, I admittedly tend to get a bit stressed. The reason? I like giving gifts that are meaningful, which means I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with the perfect thing every time. It’s no wonder, then, that just a few weeks ago, I found myself lying awake at night, losing sleep over what on earth to get my husband this year for Father’s Day.
It’s not that my husband is particularly hard to shop for. He has many interests, he loves gadgets, and he’s not at all shy about creating Amazon wish lists. But to me, Father’s Day isn’t just about giving or getting a gift; it’s about truly acknowledging the many wonderful things my husband does as a father.
And with that in mind, I came up with what I think is a pretty neat little idea. This year, for Father’s Day, my husband is getting a list—specifically, a list of all the things he’s done for our family over the past year.
At the risk of generalizing, I’m sure I’m not the only mom/wife who has a tendency to criticize her other half. In fact, my husband and his friends like to joke that being a husband means never managing to do anything right. Most weeks, I spend more time griping about the things mine does wrong than thanking him for the many ways he’s helped. And he does help. A lot. So for this Father’s Day, I’m compiling a list of all the ways my husband has rocked as a parent.
When he gets home from work after a 1.5+ hour commute after having worked a 10-hour day, the first thing my husband does is jump in and help with the kids. At bedtime, he gets our twin 16-month-old daughters changed and helps our toddler brush his teeth. In between, he takes care of our old, diabetic dog and gives him his nightly insulin injections, which I’m too squeamish to do. And on weekends, he’s more than willing to pitch in with diaper changes, infant consolation sessions, and the like.
Like many husbands, mine isn’t perfect. He often forgets to wash his dishes (or at least wash them thoroughly), and he’s been known to leave laundry rolled up in a ball on the floor on more occasions than I can count. (Honey, why can’t you just put your dirty t-shirts in the hamper? It’s like three feet away from your where you flung them…)
But my husband is also sweet, caring, and a truly amazing dad. And so this Father’s Day, I want to acknowledge the many ways he makes my life easier and my children’s lives happier. The list I’m compiling is loaded mostly with simple things, like the time my husband consoled our son when he screamed for what seemed like hours after stubbing his toe, or the night he tackled bedtime solo while I was away at a conference. But it’s a list that I want him to see.
I know marriage and parenthood aren’t about keeping score, but I think it’s OK to keep score if you’re focusing on the positive. I mean, who wouldn’t want to receive a list titled “27 Reasons Why You’re an Awesome Husband and Dad?” This list is basically my way of saying thank you to a guy who really deserves it. With any luck, he’ll think it’s a way better present than a fancy new phone or tech toy. And just in case he doesn’t, I’ll have a gift from his Amazon wish list wrapped up on hand as backup.