I was at a baby consignment sale when I overheard a new mom and her grandmother talking about Daddies. It was impossible not to listen, as we were the only ones in the 6-month girl’s section.
Her grandma said the only outfits you can find today are daddy onesies. She said it’s “all about daddies now” as she rolled her eyes. I thought it was silly, and I was pretty sure she was wrong. Then I remembered how we were absolutely flooded by onesies covered with dad sayings before B was born. She only received one mommy shirt, which she quickly outgrew.
I often think of grandma’s words when I open B’s dresser drawers and come across a daddy onesie. Is there really an abundance of them out there in the world? While I can’t conduct a study to find out, it did make me wonder: if the market is saturated with these clothes, why? Deep down, are we still desperate and longing to make dads part of the story?
According to an annual report from the CDC, between 1960 and 2016, the percentage of children living in families with two parents decreased from 88 [percent] to 69 [percent]. During the same period, the percentage of children living with only their mother nearly tripled from 8 [percent] to 23 [percent].
Any guy can be a father, but it takes a special guy to be a daddy. The gift of an “I ♥ Daddy” onesie doesn’t magically put him in the picture, no matter how much someone may want it to. A man is a daddy when he’s present, relationship-oriented, and the foundation of his family.
A daddy is near and dear to his baby, even when that baby is small and still figuring out the world. She may be new, but she knows love when she sees it. Her face lights up as soon as he steps in the doorway after work because he’s formed a connection with her — even after he’s worked almost 60 hours a week. He puts in the time, the effort, for her.
Their relationship is more than diaper duty. It’s late-night serenades with his guitar when she’s fighting sleep. It’s big giggles on the changing pad because he’s more boisterous than Mommy. It’s after hours chart dictation with her on his lap.
Before he’s a good daddy, he’s a good husband. He supports his wife and encourages her daily. He stays awake while she works late at night, even if it means he falls asleep on the couch next to her. Anything so he doesn’t have to go to bed without her.