Put Dad first this Father's Day
By: Julia Marchand
“Parenthood is the hardest job you’ll ever love.” This sentiment shared with me by my mom has been echoing in my head since she said it about a week ago. I know I’m not the only one to agree because my husband and I have had similar, perhaps less eloquent, conversations on the topic. The nights can sometimes feel never-ending, and the days, just as exhausting, so I know how lucky I am to have a partner with whom I share all of the diapers, giggles, tantrums, and snuggles. It’s because I, too, am experiencing all of these parental trials, that I am really excited to celebrate my husband (and my own dad) on June 17 for Father’s Day.
Finding the right gift to show Dad that you care is a difficult thing to do and only gets harder as his super-Dad years stack up. Thinking back over my decades, it’s easy to feel like I’ve run out of ideas! As the blog Salt and Pepper Moms points out, you can only give him a new grill or tie so many times. That’s why I love their idea of curating a customized Father’s Day Favorites basket just for him. Grab a cute, but inexpensive, basket from Goodwill® and go to town filling it with all of his favorites. The basket can be reused around the house after for organization that fits into your décor scheme, but that’s just the cherry on top. The real gifts are the sweet printable cards that you can download and have family members fill out to be included in the basket. Kiddos can draw dad (or grandpa) and share their favorite things about him. More than the treats or usefulness of the basket, Dad will have these thoughtful mementos to hold forever.
If he isn’t a big snacker, and you can’t find anything small to fill his basket, the best starting point is probably still to think about what the father in your life really loves. Is it gardening? Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries (Cincinnati) had some great ideas for Dads with green thumbs; thrift a book of gardening tips and track down some seeds (or even saplings!) then spend the day together in the garden. This is such a wonderful idea partly because time is the best gift you can give, and a day together is exactly that, but also because watching something grow that you planted together is like watching the relationship blossom over time, too.
And while we’re on the topic of investing time, now is the perfect opportunity to applaud Goodwill Easter Seals (St. Paul, MN) for their FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) project. This is an ongoing effort through which Goodwill invests time working with fathers to overcome barriers that prevent them from supporting their children. Being jobless while needing to support a family would make an already trying role even more difficult, so Goodwill generates opportunities for people to build brighter futures for themselves and their families through initiatives like this.
You can help support this mission simply by donating to and shopping at Goodwill this Father’s Day! A basket, a book, or even some new clothing, will all be appreciated as long as they’re accompanied by a great big hug and two wonderful words: thank you. Even through the rough patches, Dad has always put his kids first; on Father’s Day it’s our turn to return the favor.