More than a ‘good dad’

People see you change nappies.

“He’s such a good dad”, they say.

They see you holding the baby when we’re out with friends.

“He’s such a good dad”, they say.

They hear that you get up for them in the night sometimes,

“He’s such a good dad”, they say.

And you are, 

But it’s more than these everyday things, 

You’re so much more than that.

They didn’t see your hand in mine as I squeezed yours back, during the birth, our first night at home, when you had to return to work, and I didn’t want to let go.

They didn’t see when you walked in the door after a long day, how you noticed the heaviness in my eyes, how you eased the load straight away, even when your eyes were heavy too.

They didn’t see you at night, when one of them calls for “Mummy”, sometimes you go anyway, even when you know you might not get the best reception, your arms are always open.

They didn’t see the house swell and light up at the sound of your keys at the door, the bright faces and wagging tails, even if I’m still hunched over the kitchen sink. 

They didn’t see all those photos you took, yes sometimes I have to remind you to take them, but you capture the beauty on those less than perfect days, the ones I’ll look at later and see everything we dreamed of.

They didn’t see when you held me, through tears of exhaustion, through the trials of feeding, how you hold them, how you hold us, always.

They didn’t see the way you looked at me, when I felt completely undone, when I hardly recognised myself, you made me feel beautiful through it all.

They didn’t see the bedtime books you read, how you awkwardly tie her hair up, how you cuddle them to sleep and show them a softness that a child needs from a father.

They don’t see how you show up every second of every day for us.

They see the nappy changes and how you hold the baby.

They say you’re a good dad.

But I know,

You’re an incredible one.

Author: Jess Urlichs

Jess is a writer, mother of 2, and lover of 90’s hip hop. You can find her on Instagram here.

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