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Jumping In: A Story Told in Texts

… or, what it’s like to be a Dad to four toddlers from Mom’s perspective.

We all know parenting is a tough job. Moms and Dads alike have their hands and hearts full, and worry is often on their minds. Yet, there is something unique to the toddler years that just makes it extra sweet AND extra eventful … and that is with one toddler. Now, imagine a scenario where you have 4 toddler boys: a life where three are working on potty-training despite your resignation to a life with diapers; a life where you are paying for four to attend daycare while all 4 are building their immune systems; a life where you traded your beloved pick-up truck in on a MINIVAN so that your family now has 2 MINIVANS and, count ‘em, eight car seats. Some may say, “That’s one way to live your life.”

The internet is full of the tales a mom endures in the days at home with the kids. In honor of Father’s Day, it only seemed appropriate to share the other side: what it is like for Dad.

Our home is loud and it is therefore often difficult to answer the phone. Much of our day is shared via text messages, so it only seemed appropriate to share how much this man does for us through his own texts. I will spare you the lengthy texts that all parents of toddlers are exchanging: potty training talk, pictures of half-dressed kids, mom’s long vents about the mess, her clothes, and her hair–asking once again, “Do you love me?” After all, this is Father’s Day. So without further ado:

He keeps us running. I get so much of the credit as the mom at home, but without Dad’s help we’d be a mess. He keeps up with the maintenance of our home and cars.

Then there are those big purchases we sometimes have to make and they always seem to come at the wrong time, but this man rolls with it and he keeps me laughing when I just might otherwise pull my hair out.

He’s my carpool partner and he always makes it a race to get the boys excited. We hope it will make them move faster, but I’m pretty sure it just breeds competition. Either way, we are smoking it if we beat Justice to school.

He is eager to take the kids to any work or any community events he can. The boys love tagging along, and it gives me a much-needed break. I realize these community days could provide some recharge time for him, but he jumps at the chance to take along his little sidekick.

Once a week we all meet Dad for lunch, but occasionally, Dad finds ways to get the boys one-on-one. I remember my full-time work schedule and how hard it was to break away during the day. It is super special that he carves out this time for them. 

He is my sounding board and my steady source of encouragement. While we absolutely love our life, there are times where you just need a moment and someone who understands.

He is part of bedtime every night. In fact, most nights, he puts three boys down to my one. We have an agreement that we don’t leave each other at bedtime. It is just a little too much for one to handle at the end of a long day. Yet, there are nights he makes an exception and will get all the boys down by himself. This particular evening was so I could get a much needed pedicure. #priorities

My all-time favorite is that he is willing to jump in and do whatever our family needs. Sometimes, the only way to get the house cleaned is for one of us to take all the kids out and one of us to stay home and clean and that is exactly what we were doing this past weekend. This next text MADE MY YEAR. (Keith Is my brother-in-law who owns a fence building business.  We refer to it as the hardest job we know as it is all manual labor digging holes.)

So it is no wonder the man is tired.

We are so thankful for all he does. He keeps us going and he keeps us laughing.

Happy Father’s Day!