My husband's birthday was last week, and Father's Day is this weekend, which means around my house, June has become Dad Month. It's a little tough to have two similar holidays so close together...I have to coordinate two times the gifts, and double the cards...but it's also a fun season to get to lavish praise and appreciation on our favorite guy.
Within the Thrive Moms community, we talk a lot about moms, obviously. But we don't tend to focus much on our counterpoints -- the dads. Now, I don't want to presume anything about anyone's specific situation. I know there are women out there doing things on their own, and mamas who have partners who are less supportive than they'd like, as well as women with dreamboat husbands who keep the world spinning; and all kinds in between. There's no one type of dad, or one type of marriage, or one type of anything in this community. And that is all okay. We're designed differently, and God has provided us all with unique challenges, and blessings. But in the spirit of Unofficial Dad Month, I want to think about fathers for a bit.
The Thrive Moms mission is to:
"Encourage and inspire you to do more than JUST SURVIVE motherhood. We believe God want us to Thrive and walk confidently in who he calls us to be as mothers. We are a ministry seeking to serve, inspire, and empower imperfect moms with the perfect grace of Christ."
So much yes in there. But I wonder if there's an opportunity for some "yes, and..."
What if we became not only known as a group of women who lifted one another up, but also as those who lifted up the men in our lives -- serving, inspiring, and empowering them to thrive too? I will be the first to admit: Motherhood is so hard. I struggle daily (maybe even hourly?) with having the patience, stamina, wisdom, and compassion it takes to do this job. It's a calling so much bigger than what I'm capable of and yet, I am indeed called to it every single morning. So what about fatherhood? Yes, there are parts of it that might seem easier, or more natural -- dads go slog it out at the office, then come home to host a tickle fight, help with some math homework, perform a wild rendition of "Going on a Bear Hunt" and their job is done, right? Well...no.
Being a dad can be every bit as taxing as being a mom (it is being a parent after all) and I suspect that there are moments when dads struggle with the same things we do: feeling overwhelmed, wrung out, and just plain not enough. Only we don't hear it much, do we? Maybe our men will admit to these challenges or insecurities in private moments, but there aren't many public forums that promote the message of "Dad, you're doing a good job." Just because the men may be quieter in their challenges, doesn't mean their spirits don't long for that same buoying.
So how can we Thrive Moms, serve our Thrive Dads well? How can we show them that we see what they're doing, how hard they’re trying, and we love them for, and through it all? I certainly don't have the answers...in fact I don't really have any answers quite yet, although I know my husband appreciates a little guy time. But I'm committed to starting the conversation and making the effort. Are you willing to join me? Because as imperfect as I am and as incomplete as my wisdom is, I at least know that God wants us all to Thrive.