Enjoy my Father’s Day tribute from the June issue of CAWLM.

Fathers’ Two Cents in Parenting is Worth Much More

Too often guys can’t get no respect for the valuable roles they play in the lives of their children. Real dads know that becoming a dad is what you do after you zip the zipper—including changing stinky diapers, soothing fevered brows, dueling monsters under the bed, grabbing green snot without gagging, chortling like Sponge Bob, and initiating all those dicey teen talks.

It means showing up fully to nurture confident kids who feel loved and valued, helping create memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime. Real men cook Tuna Helper, grill a mean steak, or order in extra-cheesy pizza with bread sticks before heading out to play a quick round of golf.

Moms are sometimes too quick to chastise their partners when they don’t do things our way— or when they get all squirrelly when asked to hold our purses in public. But kids gain vast riches when both parents are involved in their children’s lives whenever possible. Guys bring their own magic chutzpa to the parenting equation. They strengthen the parent child bond in remarkable ways that challenge even the hippest gals— making dads parenting VIPs, too.

It was my hubby who taught our daughter to confidently face math, read maps, put air in her tires and get her oil changed. More recently he coached Jenna about her 401-K, how to shop for the best car deal and get a mortgage.

Dick always coddled Jenna less than I did, helping her become a more independent and competent young adult. I get props for teaching her about fashion, the arts, giving back to the community, and how to use the potty.

Dick never treated our son as any less valued because of the physical limitations of cerebral palsy, either. I loved observing them at bedtime, when free of male expectations Dick used his softest male voice and gently nuzzled Eric’s silky hair, completely absorbed in fatherhood. During those sacred moments, we had no idea how short their father/son moments together would be.

My hubby created precious memories with both kids because he valued the role he played in their lives. He knew that you don’t get those fleeting parenting moments back, no matter how skillfully you bargain with the devil.

To all those guys who step up to the uncertain parenting plate each day, while also bringing home at least a slice of the bacon, Happy Father’s Day— this month, you rule!

But could you try to look just a tad more confident while holding our purses in public?