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  • Iba Na Ang Tatay Ngayon! These Dads Define Hands-On Parenting

    You'll want to give a big, long hug to daddy after reading these kuwento!
Iba Na Ang Tatay Ngayon! These Dads Define Hands-On Parenting
PHOTO BY Jovelle Ballesteros de Vera and Mae Bueno
  • One day is truly not enough to celebrate dads who do their equal share of raising a family. These men understand that being a parent is hard work, and it definitely helps when two people share this challenging yet ultimately fulfilling task.

    In the Smart Parenting Village, we asked moms to share anecdotes about dads who’ve proven themselves to be the greatest of all time, or in sports lingo “the GOAT.” Here are five of the sweetest and most touching stories:

    Photo by Tiffany Luane Gimenez.

    Not letting distance stop him from being hands-on

    Being a hands-on parent is difficult when you’re working abroad, but Tiffany Luane Gimenez’s husband has never made it an excuse not to be present for his family.

    “Our Daddy Boo is the GOAT because he is an OFW, and yet he still finds time to play and bond with our kids,” Tiffany writes. Her husband makes sure he spends quality time with their son and daughter, even if it’s from a screen.

    “He plays Fornite with our 8-year-old son on his day-off. He calls us every night and plays with our daughter virtually,” she says. “We have our scheduled date night, too, once a week.”

    She adds: “Our relationship isn’t perfect — we had our ups and downs. But one thing that I truly admire about him is that he’s a great father and a good provider. We became parents after we graduated from college, so it wasn’t an easy journey for us. But he never gave up, he strove hard to provide his family a better life.”

    Photo by Mae Bueno.

    Being a frontliner in more ways than one

    For Mae Bueno, she saw how her husband, frontliner Kim, courageously took on this challenge, knowing the risks to his health, all for their three kids.

    “Being a frontliner, a food delivery driver, and a daddy to our three kids makes him the GOAT. He still manages to balance his time at work [and at home] — lalo na ngayon sa panahon ng pandemic,” she says.

    Mae narrates that her husband goes to work every single day, serving customers and strangers, to earn money for their family. And yet when he’s at home, he’s still a hands-on dad and a supportive husband.

    “Every morning, he sees to it na before he goes to work, napaliguan na niya yung pangalawa at bunso naming anak. Siya ang namamalengke at naglalaba, because I need to recover due to my Caesarian operation.”

    Mae says: “Maaga man siya naging daddy at the age of 21 sa taong 2011, nahinto man sa pag-aaral, nagtrabaho, at muling naging working student — estudyante sa umaga, frontliner sa hapon — hindi naging hadlang iyon para matupad niya ang pangarap na magsuot ng itim na toga at matanggap ang diploma na siyang patunay na nakapagtapos na siya ng pag-aaral.”

    Photo by Lois Oracion.

    Balancing duty to country and to family

    Lois Oracion says she and her husband, a soldier, went through so much as a family that it took a toll on their marriage. At one point, she had been raising their kids practically on her own, but she realized how much she really does appreciate her husband’s sacrifice.

    “He has missed birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and our kids’ milestones. It’s always hard for me to see him put on his uniform and get ready for another deployment, but I know it takes every ounce of his strength for him to leave our sleeping children to fulfill his duty,” she writes in her post.

    The mom also confesses that there are times when she sees her husband crying, wishing he could stay with the family.

    “But he knows he has to fight for our country while I stay at home fighting for us. Sometimes, he wonders if our kids will think he’s being a good father by leaving them, but I know that being both a dad and a soldier is never easy.”

    And when he is at home, Lois’s husband makes it a point to share the parenting load. “He fixes things around the house. He cooks for us. He helps me with the kids at bedtime,” she says.

    The doting dad has no qualms going down on the floor to play with their toddler or take care of their 3-month-old baby. “He is a great provider, and I know that he’d always be with me and the kids than anywhere else,” Lois adds.

    Photo by Jovelle Ballesteros de Vera.

    Putting the family first in every way possible

    In the De Vera family, being a GOAT dad means doing everything you can for the sake of the family and always being there to lead them to the right path.

    “Nasa loob pa lang si baby, todo na [si Daddy] sa pag-aalaga sa aming dalawa,” Jovelle Ballesteros de Vera shares in her post. Back then, her husband was juggling his master’s degree and working to provide for their needs.

    “Noong lumabas ang baby girl namin, natakot siyang hawakan dahil sobrang liit ni baby. Pero na-conquer niya yung takot niya,” the mom narrates. Now, whenever their daughter cries, daddy is the one who can calm her down. “Napaka-OA rin niya pagdating sa baby namin, which is nakaka-amaze! Lalo ako na-i-in-love sa kanya!”

    Jovelle adds: “Katuwang ko siya sa pag-aalaga sa aming little princess na makulit. Katuwang ko rin siya sa paglalaba. Hanggang ngayon, minsan taga-sampay na lang ako, dahil sabi niya sa akin na alam niya yung hirap ko sa pag-aalaga sa baby namin. At noon pa man, wala pang pandemic, siya na ang namamalengke.”

    Photo by Karen Mei Caro.

    Serving and protecting in and out of the home

    As a policeman, Karen Mei Caro’s husband is not always at home to be with his kids. But when he is, he’s an affectionate and loving father to his sons.

    “I really appreciate his effort to bond with our two sons when he is not on duty,” Karen says. “He plays with them and he cooks their favorite food. Our kids are so happy when their papa is at home. Our youngest even jumps for joy when he sees him. And these are the moments that money can’t buy.”

    The mom also says her kid’s papa is as sweet and as devoted as can be: “He gives us everything we need — everything, including my little addiction to shoes and bags. He loves to pamper us. He wants to see us happy all the time.”

    Among her husband’s many good qualities, Karen extols his patience, understanding, and open-mindedness.

    “Our 5-year old son shows an interest in dolls and princesses, not cars and toy guns. And it’s okay with my husband,” she says. “He doesn’t get mad. He said that we just let our son enjoy his childhood, and whatever his preferences will be in the future, our love for him is just the same. Nothing could ever change that.”

    Karen adds: “He is not a perfect father. Sometimes, he fails, too. He couldn’t attend our children’s recognition day, or sometimes, my kids and I would go to the doctor alone. Sometimes, he loses his temper, but it doesn’t make him any less. I know that he will do everything for us. No wonder he is the greatest of all time.”

    These messages and stories prove that #RealDads, imperfect they may be, deserve our love, appreciation, and gratitude every day of the year. Never, ever take them for granted!

    And to all our GOAT dads out there, don’t forget to look after yourself as well. With Dove Men + Care and Baby Dove, you and your precious bundles of joy can get the care you deserve. Watch this video to learn more:

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This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with Baby Dove.