From time to time, my husband and I chuckle about his father’s “well-meaning” advice.
It was shortly after we had returned from the hospital, just days into becoming a family of three. My husband’s parents had arrived for a visit with their brand new grandson. Ryder, a sweet but fussy infant, demanded constant crooning and attention. Needing a moment to collect myself, I passed our baby to my husband, declaring he was officially nominated for diaper change duty.
Later that evening, as I rocked Ryder to sleep, curled up in my arms, my husband relayed a conversation he’d had with his father.
“I was changing Ryder’s diaper,” he explained, “and my dad followed me into the room. He said, You shouldn’t be doing this. It’s the woman’s job to take care of the baby. You need to concentrate on work and let her handle everything else.”
For about two seconds, I seethed with rage. But as I looked up at my husband, ready to launch into my “oh-no-he-didn’t” diatribe, I realized he was laughing, shaking his head in astonishment. Because he no more believed in gender stereotypes than I did; beyond that, he wanted to take an active role in our son’s care and upbringing.
“Let’s not worry about dear old dad’s advice,” he concluded.
Today, my husband is the father of two boys. He has changed diapers; he has drawn baths. He has cooked and cleaned and kissed boo boos and chased away monsters. He is an active role model for the boys and their hero – not just because he brings home the bacon, but because he fries it, too.
That’s real love. That’s real strength.
Dove Men+Care recognizes that men today demonstrate real strength and heroism through the small everyday things they do in life for their families, all of which is grounded in their ability to care. In fact, 9 out of 10 men globally believe masculinity has evolved since their father’s generation (case in point: our experience above!) and 75% of men agree that how masculinity has changed has had a positive impact on society.
Inspired by dad’s caring sides, “My Dad, My Hero” offers an evolved perspective on what a real hero looks like today. Dove Men+Care has curated footage from all over the world, from over 20 real families, which showcases a variety of ways modern dads show care for their kids.
Do you see your father, or husband, as a hero? Although male heroism has traditionally been rooted in physical strength (have you noticed the abundance of superhero movies this year?), this Father’s Day, Dove Men+Care will celebrate how real heroes, whose strength comes from care, elevates them to hero status in the eyes of their kids.
Dove Men+Care has generously offered Listen to Lena readers the chance to win a Dove Men+Care gift basket for a special man in your life. (Gold men’s watch, striped tie, keys to a Lexus and wedding ring not included! Those are treats my husband has deservedly received in Father’s Days past.)
To enter, simply RT this tweet. Open to Canadians only (excluding Quebec); ends June 19, 2016 at 12:00pm ET. Winner will be notified via Twitter.
Good luck, and to all the dads and heroes celebrating this weekend, Happy Father’s Day!