The #Greatdad Campaign is an effort to make visible all the wonderful dads in the world today. The media tends to focus on what’s wrong with fathers, giving us the false impression that much is broken. Not so. There are millions of us out here doing it right - and we want to share your story.
My husband is a stay at home father of our two sons, ages three and seven. What makes him amazing is that he gave up his job as an accountant to do so. Our seven-year-old was diagnosed with autism at age two and has severe Sensory Processing Disorder. My husband was diagnosed at the same time, with autism. He took the news as a relief, as an answer to the "why am I different?" question. He immediately threw himself into the role of primary caregiver, understanding that he was best to assist with our oldest. He had a unique (one up) on other dads since he truly understood what our son was going through.
We were surprised by my second pregnancy. As a result of making too much money, we did not qualify for any subsidies. Grayson decided that since we would be paying someone else to raise our children, totaling thousands a month in daycare costs, that he would quit his job and do it himself. I am beyond blessed to have a man that has the patience and love to be at home with our children. He spends hours playing blocks or re-reading the same story five times. He feeds, clothes and cuddles my little boys every day. Grayson is a #greatdad!
Caleb Baker & Ben Leonard
Caleb (top right) first became a dad at the age of fourteen. He was immediately denied any involvement with his little girl, and the legal system did very little to support him in fighting for his rights. Nevertheless, Caleb’s commitment to his daughter, Libby, spurred him to continue fighting for a place in her life. Despite ongoing emotional abuse, consistent assaults on his character and livelihood, and every effort to prevent him from bonding with Libby, Caleb has remained steadfast and patient as a father. Libby and her little sister, Ava, enjoy a father who speaks softly to them, validates their feelings, and cheers them on with his whole heart. Caleb shows, every day, that he believes in the innate strength and value of his daughters.
Ben (left side) is a special father because not only does he invest in his son (Ben Jr.) but also made the choice to take on Ben Jr’s big sister, Ava. Ben takes his role as a father and stepfather seriously, constantly reading the latest parenting articles and always searching for ways he can give more of himself to make the lives of his children better. As a firefighter and paramedic, Ben has to spend a lot of time away from home, which wears on him. Yet, instead of giving in to the exhaustion, he plans his home time around his children. He makes it clear to them every day that they are his world, his motivation, and his highest priorities.
I thought I might also add that, in addition to being wonderful dads in their own right, they co-parent flawlessly as biological father and stepfather to Ava. Ben also accepts Libby as part of the family and welcomes her into our home, caring for her equally even though she’s not technically even his stepchild. Caleb is the same with Ben Jr. and even babysits him on occasion. We do holidays together and both dads sit together at events to jointly support the children they love.
Left is a photo of Caleb (right) and Ben (left) both holding Ava and congratulating her after one of her performances.
I’d like to honor my late husband who was an amazing and phenomenal father. His name was Nathan Harvey and sadly he died on his 40th birthday (7-19-2016) just eight days after the birth of our second child. Our oldest child, Elizabeth, was four when he died. This is our second Fathers Day without him. He was a dream dad to our little girls. Our oldest was four when he died and she was his pride and joy. He was fun, protective, and loved his little girls with all of his heart. He jumped in mud puddles, dressed up in tutus, he did it all. And although he’s no longer with us, I want to celebrate and honor him every Fathers Day. For the short time he was physically here to be a father, he absolutely rocked fatherhood. Thank you!