To All The Dads Who Are Supermen — I See You

by Michelle Zunter
Choreograph / iStock

I would say that a huge percentage of the blogging content in the online parenting world is most definitely shifted in the direction of a mother’s point of view regarding birth, babies, toddlers, and beyond. Much of the content is indeed written by women — like me.

I know there are men in this world who are fantastic dads. Some of them even have their own blogs which — if you read them — are pretty dead-on and often quite hilarious.

It’s true that hard-working, dedicated dads don’t always get the attention they deserve. And with Father’s Day coming around again this year, I’d like to give a shout-out not just to all the amazing dads I don’t know but also to the one I live with — my husband.

When my husband’s son (now my wonderful stepson) was very young, his dad told him a little fib. He told him he was Superman. He explained to his son that he had to give up his superpowers in order to be a dad.

Silly, right?

Only his son believed him, wholeheartedly.

Fast-forward several years and my stepson is now on the verge of becoming a teenager. He realizes now, of course, that his dad was never really Superman.

But the thing is, his dad kind of is Superman.

I’ve never met a man more loving, generous, playful, strong, and hard-working. It’s not hard to believe that my husband’s son would think that his father had superpowers.

Single fathers, stepfathers, adoptive fathers, and just fathers in general, do need more consideration.

In this world, a father is often expected to maintain strength, display composure, and demonstrate financial stability without complaint.

Oftentimes, men who become fathers didn’t get a great role model for what a father should be like growing up. Additionally, I doubt most men ever expect to become single dads, as my husband was for years.

Both men and women should be held to the same expectations of responsibility when they create a child together, of course. But it seems society has become complacent in its standards of fathers compared to mothers.

While society seems to expect that a mother should sacrifice everything for her child, many of us are not surprised when a father doesn’t do his part accordingly. The level of expectation just isn’t as high.

But the modern reality is that single dads who have custody of their children — for whatever reasons — are on the rise. These guys are struggling with many of the same issues that single moms are.

I am a stepparent, so let’s touch on this too. Every day the numbers of empowered stepmoms who are writing books, blogging, creating forums, and building empires of support for other stepmoms are growing. Quite often, though, stepdads get left out. It’s not necessarily done on purpose, but more likely due to a lack of exposure.

Not a lot of stepdads are expressing their feelings for the world to see, but I know they’re all going through problems, just like stepmoms. The same goes for a lot of biological dads who are part of a two-parent family unit. They have struggles too.

My husband is probably the most amazing father a child could ever have. He’s not perfect — no one is. But he’s involved. He worries. He learns. He disciplines. He laughs. He’s a regular parent. He just doesn’t feel the need to expose his trials and tribulations to the world. And he has been through many.

So I’m dedicating this to my husband, my own father, and to all the other men out there who are making their way through the journey of fatherhood.

In a world where nothing happens if it’s not on the internet and everyone is competing to express their angst in the most poetic, meaningful way possible, dads don’t always put their stuff out there.

But I see you, super dads. You’re changing diapers, babywearing, transporting sticky toddlers on your shoulders, styling your daughters’ hair, and getting your hands dirty in the beautiful mess that is raising kids.

Superman sure is awesome. But so are a lot of dads.