• Thu, Jun 12 - 8:00 am ET

12 Signs Of An Amazing Dad

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Let’s be real. Long gone are the days where dads are seen as bumbling idiots who put diapers on backwards and burn formula in the microwave. Dads know what they’re doing. Dads put in just as much work as moms, in most cases. In short, dads are amazing.

In honor of Father’s Day and every other day of the year, here are 12 signs your kids have been blessed with an amazing dad:

1. He watches you give birth and isn’t squeamish. This is the first test of a truly awesome dad. My husband was kind enough to say that he still found me beautiful and sexy, even after he saw my butthole during labor.

2. He isn’t afraid of his newborn baby. Every single person is afraid of the fragile newborn. Every. Single. Person. And don’t let them tell you otherwise. Dads who learn to cradle and swaddle tiny babies while supporting their meager baby necks deserve a pat on the back.

3. He gets up in the middle of the night. No one likes to get up in the middle of the night with a screaming baby, but dads do it too. Bonus points if he warms up pumped breast milk or formula and lets you sleep.

4. He doesn’t shake your baby. This is not a joke—Shaken Baby Syndrome is a real concern. Any new parent can tell you how difficult it is to keep your cool when your baby is screaming its head off and can’t be soothed. Dads deserve credit for this too.

5. He researches on the Internet. It’s often said that men like to “fix” things. This certainly comes in handy when your husband spends the afternoon googling how to deal with a teething baby.

6. He doesn’t babysit. What I mean to say is, a true dad partner watches the kids all of the time anyway. He splits up childcare duties with you and doesn’t call it “babysitting.”

7. He changes dirty diapers. Any dad who plays by the “your turn” rule of the dirty diaper game is a hero. He’s clearly doing something right.

daddy-newbie.tumblr.com

8. He lets you sleep in sometimes. If your husband lets you sleep in for a few hours, even when it isn’t Mother’s Day, he knows the way to your heart. God bless him.

9. He respects your decisions. Most parenting decisions are made together, but moms still need support when they just can’t take it anymore. If you decide to stop breastfeeding because of frustration, latching issues, or mastitis, thank your husband for backing you up and easing your mom guilt.

10. He’s mostly patient. No one is perfect, especially dads. Dads who remain calm in the eye of the storm, i.e. a screaming toddler tantrum that lasts for hours, should get an award.

11. He brags about your kids. Most modern parents try to keep bragging to a minimum because of nonstop Facebook abuse. But there’s something so adorable about a dad who can’t help himself when he shows friends, family, and the grocery store cashier pictures of his kids on his iPhone. Awww.

12. He makes you feel less alone. There’s nothing like a hands-on dad who understands everything you’re going through as a new mom. You can vent to him and tell him your insecurities, and he actually gets it. He’s a good dad.

If you need a little encouragement for why you’re a good mother too, click here!

(Image: Sunny studio/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • WriterLady

    My husband is the third of seven children. There is a huge gap in ages between the 5th, 6th, and 7th children. He is 31, and has a 19 year-old brother as well as an 11 year-old brother. His whole life, he was surrounded by babies and learned how to care for them. On the other hand, I had zero experience with babies prior to having my own son. None. Zilch. Anyway, it was not all surprising that when our son was born, he adjusted much more quickly to becoming a parent than I did. I don’t at all mean that he loved our son more than I did, but he was comfortable with–and even eager to–change diapers, rock him to sleep, bathe him, etc. And during those first few days and even weeks, he taught me a few things. Most importantly, he eased my nerves when I felt that sense of inadequacy or even fear that new moms sometimes develop. I will never forget how much he supported me, and I will forever be grateful for his devotion to our son.

    Also, #3 was my absolute saving grace. We took turns every single night, waking to prepare the bottle for our son at all hours of the night (we opted to formula feed). This was truly a blessing when I returned to work a little shy of two months later; I honestly don’t know how I would have managed to work without face-planting into the computer if he had not offered to help out with the feedings.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I figured out by the second baby that splitting nighttime baby duty was the only way to go. Thankfully, my husband had no problem with that. :-)

  • Ursi

    Not gonna lie, I landed myself a partner who LOVES babies. Adores spending time with them, doesn’t mind changing a diaper (he was almost a teen when his youngest sibling was born and learned to do everything for the baby), and has an infinite amount of patience for all young children.

    I do feel a little guilty about snatching this one out of the “good fathers” pool and removing him from it. But those daddy instincts get a workout on all our young cousins, so not too bad.

  • Jennifer Freeman

    Yay for awesome Dads! My husband is awesome. He is an equal partner in parenting and does a fantastic job. It is interesting to see how parenting expectations have changed over time – even since my parents were parenting me.

    • WriterLady

      Absolutely! There has been a huge generational shift over the last 60 years or so. My mother has said that my dad was terrified to change diapers for whatever reason. I remember him being an excellent, hands-on father as a teenager (attending sporting events and helping out with homework), but as an infant/toddler, he left most of the child-rearing duties to my mom. Going back even further, my parents have said that their fathers did very, very little in the way of parenting. They supported the family financially, but parenting was primarily the woman’s responsibility. Surely this wasn’t the case for everyone, but it certainly was considered “normal” for that time period. It’s astonishing to think that in such a relatively short period of time throughout the course of history, there has been a sudden and dramatic change regarding the expectations of fathering.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      Yeah, it is pretty cool. Women have been working outside the home for awhile now, but I think the split of parenting duties has only started catching up fairly recently.

    • Kitsune

      My co-worker and I talk about that because she’s significantly older and is always really impressed about how involved my husband is. My mom was neglectful so my own father pretty much did everything up on that list so it had never even occurred to me that my husband wouldn’t. I’m very glad the expectations have started to catch up.

    • SunnyD847

      I think that women’s roles have changed also, even for those of us not working outside the home. My grandmother would never have called herself a stay-at-home mom. She was a housewife and her first priority was keeping the household running, not “nurturing” or “enriching” her kids’ lives. All parents today are much more focused on our children than past generations.

    • WriterLady

      Agreed. My mother was a stay-at-home parent, and she was far more invested in responsibilities related to raising her two kids than to endless housework. Part of that stems from the modern conveniences that were invented in the 60s, 70s, and 80s such as the microwave, dishwasher, etc. My grandmother would spend 3 hours making a meal, whereas my mom could make a full meal in 30-45 minutes thanks to all of the newer appliances. And while I don’t think she would been offended by the term “housewife,” she most likely never would have referred to herself in that manner. And rightfully so–there is so much more to being a SAHM than the moniker implies.

    • AlexMMR

      My mom does take issue with the term “housewife” even though she never was one and I currently am. She says “Houses don’t need a wives. You’re a home maker.”

    • MerlePerle

      My mother’s 70 year old boyfriend recently changed his first diaper when they were watching my kids because my mom had broken her hand. He is a father of four children and has never changed a diaper before!

  • Spongeworthy

    Yea yea my husband is a great dad and all, but the real question is where can I get the dog from #8? I want to squeeze him and smoosh his face.
    I think I have puppy fever.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      That dog is me.

    • Spongeworthy

      Yea, I pretty much resemble that dog by about 9pm every night.

  • Cruelty Cupcake

    I want some context for the “How Hufflepuff is that” gif, it’s cracking me up.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      Phil Dunphy 4 Lyf! He’s my favorite TV Dad.

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      lolll I’ve never seen Modern Family (I KNOW) but that is hilarious

    • Jennifer Freeman

      I hadn’t watched any of it until this year. It is seriously funny, though. We ended up buying the seasons that were available and watching the current season.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      More reason to love Phil:
      http://gph.is/1gAWu4g

    • Cruelty Cupcake

      Oooo he looks a little dorky but ALL RIGHT I’m into it!
      ETA: actually he looks like my bf will probably look in 10-15 years…except with more hair, because my bf is already starting to show male pattern baldness :O

    • Jennifer Freeman

      Welp, Phil IS super dorky. He is an unabashed former male cheerleader and also loves magic, BUT he is also down with creating an alter ego and role-playing in public to keep things spicy in his marriage.

  • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Kay_Sue

    But remember…we still spend more on Mother’s Day. :-P

  • LadyClodia

    This sort of goes along with #6, but I’d add also “He takes the kids places by himself.”
    My husband is awesome, and the only one he has a problem with is #3. He doesn’t wake up for anything, and it’s just as much effort for me to try to wake him up to get up with the kids than it is for me to just get up with them.
    I love that GIF of the baby in #2; that never gets old for me.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      The baby in GIF 2 is like an adorable, evil sorcerer.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I just keep staring at it lol.

  • momjones

    Since we were both teachers, we were home with the kids the same amount of time. It really was ideal, and I always used to say, “My husband is a great father, and I feel bad saying that because every dad should be that way.” I also knew that if anyone hurt our children, his Vietnam vet survival instinct would kick in, and that would be the end of that person. We used to joke that if the boat sank and the kids were with us, he would say “Love you, but I’m saving the kids.”
    He also did ALL the home doctoring things from infancy on. The kids never came to me when they didn’t feel well or fell and hurt themselves. CMJ always loves to tell the story about how she fell out of a tree and when she said her wrist hurt, and I started yelling at her that she shouldn’t have been in the tree…of course her father believed her, and it was indeed broken.

    • LadyClodia

      I do some doctoring things, but my husband has handled all of the big things which I’m grateful for, like taking our son in when he broke his foot and staying in the hospital with him when he had his tonsils removed.

    • CMJ

      You also said – “Go lie down…you’re fine.”

    • momjones

      The next time someone writes an article about “Not so good moments in mothering” we can suggest “Doesn’t believe your child is really hurt when falling out of a tree”

    • Obladi Oblada

      I totally do that with my kids now. My husband is sometimes their hero but I’m the one who says, “Go lie down…you’re fine.” :)

    • Jennifer Freeman

      My daughter sometimes has mystery ailments. It’s always the same: “I just don’t feel good”. My reply is always “If you can’t tell me a specific thing that is wrong, then you are fine”. Non-coddling moms, unite!

    • momjones

      CMJ also had “nursemaid’s elbow.” The first time it happened, she was 9 months old and her sister was dragging her across the floor. We took her to emergency. The second time it happened, her Dad took her to the pediatrician. The third time – her Dad snapped it back in himself. The fourth time – I said, while she was crying, “Lift your arm up and straighten it, honey, like this!” (showing her what to do).

    • Jennifer Freeman

      You are hardcore, momjones! I salute you.

    • Obladi Oblada

      Our youngest son used to constantly complain of headaches. He was adopted from a drug abuse/neglect home so we were always hesitant to give him medications until his system was cleared out and he tested clean. Now when he tells us he has a headache, he says, “I know, I know…go rest and I’ll feel better” even though I’m already reaching for the ibuprofen.
      He cracks me up. :)

  • Kitsune

    This list just confirms what I already knew, that my husband is an awesome Dad. #3 is the only one that is slightly different for us since I breastfeed, but he woke up with me everytime to keep me calm when my son was having latch issues while we watched Netflix.

    • Harriet Meadow

      My husband did this, too. I insisted that he didn’t need to get up with me, but he always did, because he knew how frustrating it was for me trying to breastfeed our son (we eventually got the hang of it, but it took 3 months!). I appreciated that gesture soooooo much.

    • Kitsune

      More than anything else him doing that made it feel like we were in it together and I really need that support. Now I have all these great memories of us becoming a family. Yay awesome husbands and dads!

  • Melissa

    I’ve been too scared to ever take our daughter’s temperature at the “other end”, but my husband has bravely taken one for the team and done this duty, even when I have woken him up to do it in the middle of the night and even after getting pooped on.

  • Tom Alexander

    Let me start by saying this is my favourite parenting blog – you are all great writers and it’s informative and very entertaining! But as a single father, I take issue with this article. If you ascribed all of the above qualities to a mother, it would not be a big deal – they are the basic qualifications of any successful mom. But for dads, they make him a “great dad”. Why “great”? Again and again, the bar is lowered for dads. If a dad simply does all the things a mom would do (change diapers, doesn’t shake the baby, researches parenting issues, etc), it’s “great”, “amazing”, “what an awesome dad”. I do all of the above twelve things, constantly, not because I’m a “great dad”, but because I’m a parent, plain and simple. Then again, I know most dads don’t do much of the above, which is very unfortunate. But if we set the bar low for them, they won’t rise very far above it. Time to make dads accountable to being just as devoted parents as moms are, instead of rewarding them for it. Anyway, thanks for the article and for such a great website.

    • Ursi

      I agree with this!

    • Bethany Ramos

      I appreciate your points, no sarcasm. But I also give moms kudos for the same tasks – http://www.mommyish.com/2014/05/28/am-i-a-good-mother/

      IMO, parenting can be tough, and I’ll always take a pat on the back for feeding a baby.

      ETA – I just want to double thank you for your very kind comment! It’s always awesome to hear another well-thought out POV that isn’t jerky at all. Thanks again :)

    • Tom Alexander

      Thanks, Bethany! Yep, we all deserve kudos, and it can be tough, and we all deserve a pat on the back, for sure. I just don’t think dads deserve a bigger pat than moms for doing the same thing. To my point, your article on moms headlines them as “good” moms. For dads doing the same thing, they are headlined as “amazing.” It’s simply a double standard that just seems to be ingrained in our culture, that many of us don’t even realize.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Ahhh, point taken. Thanks again. :)

    • Guets

      I have to say I had the same thought at a great dad requirement being “you don’t shake the baby”. I think that is on my list of basic requirements for being a human who isn’t a total douche.

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    • Spongeworthy

      Such a great point, thank you for making it.

    • RW

      I wish, wish, WISH I could agree with you. My husband does all of the above, and we consider it the status quo. It’s half his kid too, so it stands to reason that he does half the work in raising him. In fact, since I’ve been pregnant with our second he’s had to step up his game even more and has been doing the lion’s share (lioness’ share?) of the child care these days.

      Unfortunately, most people we know don’t see it that way. They applaud how involved he is in his son’s upbringing, they are shocked that I get to sleep in (we alternate days on weekends), visit friends without child in tow, and can relax at a party/group setting knowing that when it’s my husband’s turn to watch the kid that he’s actually doing it. But women especially are baffled that he can and will do these things. It irks me so whenever it’s mentioned I can’t help but look at them like they’re clueless and say “yeah – it’s his kid too. I don’t expect any less!” But they’re husbands don’t. Their husbands “babysit” when the mother has to go somewhere. Their husbands don’t want to take time away from their socializing to watch the kids, and don’t care that the mother would like some time to socialize too. Their husbands avoid diapers and don’t put their kids to sleep, and when the mother DOES go out for the evening, whatever time she gets home she still has to deal with putting the kids to bed.

      I agree with you that this has to change in a big way. And it’s men like you and my husband that are the spearheads. Who take the responsibility as just that. It’s women like me who don’t laud every little action as heroic, but as expected responsibility (though I do try to be pretty liberal with the ‘thank yous’ to continue encouraging it!). A parent is a parent!

    • Tom Alexander

      Yes, RW, absolutely. And it’s bad enough with most married dads – it’s often far worse with single dads who deliberately shirk their responsibilities (which angers me to no end)

    • Guest

      Amen! I’ve run into many of these women and I just cannot understand why they would accept a partner who refuses to do even the basics. Obviously every situation is not cut and dry but I’m happy too see more guys kicking ass at parenting to show these women that they don’t have to settle for crap.

    • Guest

      100% agree with you. I was rather offended on my son’s behalf, as he has baby 100% of time when he’s not at work, including weekends, due to his wife’s schedule. This is not uncommon these days. I wouldn’t think of these as things that make a great father, more like maybe…….things that your partner does that help out. A great father stands on his own, he’s not a list of traits that women hope they have in a partner when a baby arrives on the scene. If I were looking for a nanny, this might be a good checklist for me to follow, (with a few exceptions of course).

    • AlexMMR

      I see where you’re coming from, but I’m going to partially disagree.

      In my opinion, people don’t get enough credit for doing the day to day drudgery of responsible living. Out of the ordinary challenges get praise and make the efforts worthwhile, but the mundane, every day little things are completely ignored and can really weigh a person down. I think those things should be acknowledged for everybody. So I tell my husband often that I appreciate that he deals with a commute and a job that doesn’t excite him too much to keep us secure, and that he does the dishes without being pestered to do them, and how I can loosen up a bit when he’s home because there’s a second pair of eyes watching the kids just as closely as mine are.

      Are any of these things exceptional and spectacular? No, they are normal day to day responsible things. Being two human beings who do these things as normal, well dammit we deserve some credit and recognition!

    • BexleyS

      Yeah I think you’re right. This stuff’t exceptional or spectacular but then again, many fathers fall short if the mark. Those ones that do do this run of the mill stuff still should get recognition. Also it needs to be said that the writers on here don’t discriminate, mothers are always getting credit on here for just doing what mums do, and so they should! Raising kids can feel like an uphill battle at times and it’s great to be able to take 5 minutes (well, about an hour a day), to read about how great we’re all doing despite the challenges : )

    • Guest

      Yes I agree that we should get a pat on the back now and then for the run of the mill, mundane things parents do. But, that’s not what this post is about. It’s about “amazing fathers”. As has been pointed out QUITE a bit in the comments section with numerous articles, these things are “just our job”. When it comes to mommy martyrs, that phrase is pulled out over and over again. If this had been written by a mommy martyr about why she’s so awesome, she would have been torn to shreds. While everything listed is a nice contribution to helping out a mom, it’s still rather condescending to the fathers out there that are “really awesome”. But instead, this reads more like “how to tell if your partner is contributing much, because mom is actually doing all the real work”. And that’s just not true anymore. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem to paint dads as the 50/50 parent that they are. Excluding of course the idiots that don’t parent. But that goes both ways too, women and men.

    • http://batman-news.com Greta Young

      As a single mother, I agree wholeheartedly with what you have to say. My kid’s dad has been supportive, involved, and doing all of these things since day one, and not simply out of default because we don’t cohabit — but because it’s just part of being a parent, period.

  • Obladi Oblada

    He’s been hospitalized three times this year and his primary concern was always the kids worrying about him. (Mine too…after him getting better.)
    He works as much overtime as he can so we can save the extra to take the kids to the beach. (The youngest two have never been.)
    His favorite Saturday ritual is having all four kids wake him up by piling on him. (I don’t know how our bed is still standing.)
    Why does he do these things? Because he’s their dad. He’s not awesome. He’s not spectacular. He’s not out of the ordinary. He’s just their dad…and he loves it.

  • val97

    When my mom had her fourth baby, my dad picked her up at the hospital and dropped her off at home and went straight to work until 10pm. We were constantly told what a great father we had. I don’t think he ever changed a diaper. He WAS a great dad because he was the fun one. He took us to get fast food and rent movies, but he did none of the nitty gritty childbearing. I mean, I know he had to support all of us – and that’s a huge financial responsibility – but I’m so glad times are slowly changing. My husband and I are equal partners. We both work, we both have similar salaries, we have split up the household chores, we take turns staying home with sick kids and driving to appointments and activities and meeting with teachers. It’s completely different from how I was raised. So while my dad was a great and loving dad, I’m so that glad “great dad” has a new meaning in this era.

  • Guest

    My husband is not a father yet but I know he will be kick ass. He has way more baby experience than me since they had his nephew living with them as a baby for a couple years while he was in high school. He is a trained medic so he can handle all the health stuff that I’d probably be spazzy over. He has already said he will get up for middle of the night stuff regardless of if I’m a SAHP. He constantly points out things his dad didn’t take time to teach him that he will be teaching his kids. Plus he already takes really good care of our small pack of animals :-)

  • Jem

    My husband does all of this and then some! It was a nice surprise after growing up in a home with much more “traditional” parent roles (i.e. my dad didn’t do a lot). I remember even when I was passed out in pain because my tonsils almost exploded 6 weeks after my son was born and I had to have them removed, my husband would hold our tiny baby on top of me to let him breast feed while I slept (or was passed out. whichever).

  • G.E. Phillips

    My parents split up when I was about 3. Shortly thereafter, my dad finished law school and took an internship that was based in Washington, DC. For six months, he came up to Connecticut every weekend on an Amtrak train to see me. That’s just one example of how awesome my dad is, but whenever I think of a dad going above and beyond, that’s what I think of first.

  • Legendary Dad

    Looks like I’ve already hit the status of “great dad” based on this post! :)

    But on a serious note, any man not doing these things needs to take a hard look at himself and starting putting his family first.