When I think of my dad, I think of warmth.
A driven businessman by day, a hugging, supportive "Teddy Bear" by night. I was one of six kids, but my dad, who I grew up referring to as "Papa," always found ways to make me feel special, to feel his love and encouragement, separate from my brothers and sisters.
As a mom, it's easy to compare ourselves to our mothers. And while there are many qualities of my mom that I love and emulate, it's my dad's warmth I strive to recreate with my husband and two boys – and it's what I want them to cherish about me.
As parents, we set rules, we tutor, we discipline. And it's all out of love. We want them to work hard, to have self-determination, confidence and compassion. We teach them manners, math and how to be safe. When they're older, they’ll know this was because we loved them. But now, it's time to take a break and just hug them. To sit with a book and hold them in our laps (yes, no matter how old they are). To read using funny voices and sweet kisses. To make it a memory, and not a lesson.
If you do this everyday, great. But sometimes it helps to have a special moment like Father’s Day to remind us what type of parents we want to be (or don’t want to be), how we want to be remembered, and how to make that happen.
Thank you to all the Dads out there who are our partners, our supporters, the fun-makers, the "good cop" to our bad (or vice versa). Thank you to my husband, the best coach and rock of stability our family could ask for. And thank you to my dad, who taught me I could be both a fearless business woman and a loving "Teddy Bear" parent.
Tell me: What has your dad taught you about Father's Day? And what do you hope your children learn from their dad?
PS – As a special way to honor the Dads in our lives, please use this special offer to save 20% on a Care.com membership. Book a sitter and take your husband to dinner. Or hire a helping hand to help your own dad around the house (which is actually the reason I started Care.com after my dad suffered a heart attack). Enter DAD2012 during sign-up.