I Love You More: A Tribute to My Husband on Father’s Day

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My husband is a good dad. He checks all the boxes. He’s patient and calm. He plays board games and video games with the kids. He builds blanket forts. He helps coach basketball and soccer. He tells hilariously corny “rad dad” jokes.

I’ve always known he was a good dad, but being quarantined with him and our three kids for three months has made me appreciate him even more.

Life Before Quarantine

Before this pandemic, there were, admittedly, days as a stay-at-home-mom when I was jealous of his work life downtown. He gets a QUIET commute every day. “Where’s my 30-minutes of alone time?” He gets to eat at fun restaurants downtown. “Why am I eating leftovers and dino nuggets while he’s enjoying a burger at Americana?”

Our conversations were typically very transactional.
Me: “Soccer practice and dance class overlap tonight.”
Him: “Ok, I can leave work 15 min early and pick up from soccer.”
Me: “That’s great. I’ll do dance drop off and then we can eat quickly, food is in the crockpot, and then I’ll go pick up our dancer.”
Him: “I can get little guy in jammies so we can do bedtime after you get back from dance.”
Me: “Sounds good. After we get everyone to bed do you want to watch Netflix for a half hour together?”
Him: “Sure.” <<Fast forward to both of us on our phones or laptops while some random show plays on the TV.>>

There wasn’t space in our day to hang out or really talk to one another. And we spent so many hours apart, each being responsible for our own duties, that we didn’t see one another. And we were exhausted.

The Start of Quarantine

On March 12 his company told him he’d be working from home for the rest of the month. “THREE WEEKS!?!” I thought. “How am I going to keep the kids busy during spring break and out of his hair?” A few days later our school announced it would also be closed until the end of March. “WHAT? How is this going to work?”

We have a small home. There is no closed-door office for him to work. We set up his “office” in our dining room, which is also where we store all the kids’ arts and crafts supplies.

I am typically a pretty laid-back, go-with-the-flow person. But my anxiety was off the charts. The same was true for my husband. With so many unknowns we started sharing our fears and worries in a way we’d never done before.

We started talking, really talking.

Adjusting to Our New Normal

After a few weeks of no school and no extra activities, we took advantage of a nice day and sat outside on patio chairs and daydreamed. We talked about old vacations and vacations we hope to take someday. We talked about ideas for our yard and our house. We talked and talked and talked. And it had nothing to do with how to get our kids from point A to point B.

I felt like we were on a date.

We had so much space to be together and laugh and dream. It reminded me why we got together in the first place 20 years ago. Who knew going through a pandemic together would make us a stronger couple?

New Admiration

While I’ve always been grateful for my husband’s career, I didn’t really understand what his job entailed. Seeing the ins and out of his daily routine has been very eye-opening, and I have an even greater appreciation for how hard he’s working.

And conversely, he tells me regularly how much he admires the way I manage to keep three kids, ages 5 to 12, busy and engaged without our normal routines. He’s never before witnessed all 24 hours of my role as a caregiver.

I can also see how drained he was from the busy-ness of life. Now instead of commuting, he plays 30-minutes of Super Mario Bros with our boys after he logs off from work. Instead of running to soccer on the weekends, he works on woodworking projects in the garage with the kids. He even taught our oldest how to repair a lawnmower. And he’s perfected his recipe for smoked ribs.

Without a full schedule dictating his moves all day every day, he’s been able to be the dad he’s always wanted to be.

I see you and I love you! Happy Father’s Day!

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Content Coordinator Megan doesn’t really fall into any one mom category. With three kids from ages 5 to 12, she’s been a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. She’s breastfed and bottle-fed. She’s kept kids on strict sleeping schedules in their own beds and also embraced the benefits of co-sleeping. She’s a big believer in finding what works for you and your kiddo (and it’s often different for each kid). Megan is an Iowa native and lives in Ankeny with her husband Darren. They love to travel and are often planning their next road trip (even it’s a year away). They also enjoy entertaining and are famous among their friends for throwing big bashes to celebrate the Olympic Games. But her everyday life is mostly comprised of playdates, trips to the park, and trying to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry pile.    

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