In honor of Father’s Day, I asked readers to tell us what makes a great dad.
The response was overwhelming.
Kristin Kammermeier This is my husband Eric saying goodbye to our 1 mo old daughter Gwen as he left for deployment. I knew Eric was a pretty awesome guy as we’ve been married for 5 years but it wasn’t until I saw him holding Gwen for the first time that my love for him and our new daughter became even stronger than I ever thought possible. He’s attentive, caring, loving and loves to play with and read to her. We video recorded books before he left so she could still hear his voice and listen to the silly songs he sings. Although we’re not all together for his first Father’s Day, I’m so grateful that Gwen has such a fantastic daddy and we can’t wait to see him again! 💕
Dianna Palmer The man who didn’t have to be and the reason I finally celebrate father’s day. This is Charlie my stepdad and one of the bravest people I know. He fell in love with a woman with 5 daughters without a Dad. I don’t think I can adequately put into words anything to explain how lucky we are to have him and how much he has changed our life’s. We love you.
Samantha Hodgson This is Kevin and 2 of our babies. He came into our lives almot 4 years ago, and took on my 3 yr old daughter and my newborn son on and raised them ever since like they were his own biological kids. They didn’t have a daddy figure in their lives. He was a natural. He works 6 days a week and comes home every night and takes over while I go to work. I dont know where I would be without him in my life. We are getting married in October !
Jessica Rapisarda My dad became a widower at 36. He raised my two younger sisters and me (and eventually a stepsister and stepbrother) with joy and humor and love. Now he lavishes all that love on his grandkids too. He is the happiest person I know, and I want to be like him when I grow up.
Kellie Kohl The bond these two share is unreal. You can literally see both of their faces light up when they look at each other. Melts my heart every time.
Lindsey Southwell This is my husband, Jon. After the birth of our second son in March, he decided last month that he wanted to become a stay-at-home dad for our two boys. Coming from a job where he was gone 10 hours a day, his boys are absolutely thrilled to spend so much time with their dad. He is an amazing father and role model and he loves his two boys unconditionally. He is such a good egg!
Jessica Johnstone I have 3 dads I’ve got to give credit to. First is Dan, my husband of 10 years (together for 15). He was so scared to become a dad for the first time 4 years ago but when he saw our son and held him for the first time his heart just swelled. It didn’t take him long either to turn our son into a little rock star. And now with another boy (almost 1 yr) & another little rock star this fearful man couldn’t be happier. He is the love of my life and is an amazing daddy.
My second shout out is my daddy of course! Without him I wouldn’t be here and my own 2 boys wouldn’t be here. My dad is what you call an “awkward dad”. He grew up with 4 sisters & his mama, no dad in the picture. Then he got married and had 2 girls himself. The poor man! I never understood why my dad was awkward at being a dad but now that I’m that older I understand that he didn’t have anyone to teach him what being a dad is all about. So I give him tons of credit for figuring it out all on his own and I have to admit….he totally nailed it! He is not only a great dad but he is an awesome papa to my boys. Now he finally has some boys in his life & he just loves them pieces as they do of him. 🙂
And last but not least….my father-in-law, Charlie. He is another one of those “awkward dads” in some ways. Now he had 2 boys but was never very close to them until they grew into men. Not because he was never around or wasn’t a good dad. His boys gave him hell! And now he has 2 grandsons who also call him papa (& hopefully will never give him hell as they grow up). My oldest just loves him to pieces as does my little guy but he just doesn’t know it yet. 😉
April Lynn Burleson These two are the light of my world. My son looks like me but has his father’s personality. Chad is an amazing father. He’s always trying to teach him new stuff and is right there to pick him up when he falls down. I didn’t think I could love him any more than I already did, but every time I see him with our son my heart just fills with more love. He is an amazing dad to our handsome little guy.
Eileen McLaughlin Tighe Here is Andy and Morgan. He is the greatest dad and my heart just swells watching him with her. There is no one in the world more fun to play with than her dad and they absolutely light up when they’re together.
Casey DelliCarpini My husband and I met when we were 22. He had just graduated from college and I was the mother of a 5 year old. He did not bat an eye. What 22 year old takes on the responsibilities of a ready-made family?? But he did and nearly 15 years of marriage later, I’m still a happy wife with a happy life.
Christina Hernandez Rob is a great father. He’s the patient one, the one who is home with her (15 month old) the most, the one who gets down and plays with her. He sometimes works all night and then gets an hour or two of sleep and is up with her all day. He is also an awesome dad to his 13 year old girl, and an awesome example of a man to my 11 year old son. I don’t know what I’d do without him!
Katrina Dove Ladendorf It is amazing watching your husband become a father and to see an amazing relationship grow. While it is difficult some days when our son only wants dada, knowing the special bond that they share is comforting at the same time. Mark is the one to get Dylan up, fed and to daycare after I am already on the train to work daily. I am so grateful for the wonderful father that he is.
Charity C. H. Porter This is my husband Jake & our middle child. He’s amazing, he works hard all day then comes home & cooks for everyone. When our oldest is crying & I can’t console her you can bet I can get him in there & she’s smiling & happy within a minute. Even if it‘s the inappropriate crying she does sometimes. He can somehow calm that down. He’s so patient with our kids & is never too tired to play with them or feed them so I can eat an actual hot meal or just come lift our oldest so I don’t hurt myself again. He does all of these things & somehow still manages to not only put up with my crazy moody self but he loves me as well. He’s fiercely protective of me & our babies & bends over backwards to get us what we need. I’m very blessed to have this wonderful person who turns the simplest of things into big crazy adventures. You never know what’s going to happen & it’s always a blast. I love him more than I can say.
Michele Livingood It’s so hard to pick pics! I’m going to post for my dad, then my husband (hope that’s okay!) Here is one of my dad (Victor) and I, in our favorite city, just up the street from my old apartment. We both miss me living in Boston!
And here is my husband, Hunter – there are no words to describe what an amazing dad he is to our Lucy. We are so lucky!
Michele Renee This is my amazing boyfriend Aaron and our 17 month old baby girl. He’s the most hands-on dad I’ve ever seen or heard of and it couldn’t make my heart smile any bigger. He works all day and comes home and cooks dinner because she won’t let me do it without her screaming. He stood by my side while I fought severe anxiety and depression during pregnancy and birth and well into the first few months of our daughter’s life. He’s a saint and I appreciate his giving, loving soul every day of the year.
Jessica Royal-Peart This is my husband Omar, myself and our 4 kids. Only one of them is his biological child but you would never know it. He has laughed, cried and lost his patience with all of them. He has been our family rock for 10 years now. He brings out the best in all of us and we couldn’t ask for a better leader for our family!
Tejal Patel This is my husband Chirag Bharat Patel and my son Ayaan. This is going to be his first Father’s Day. From the moment Ayaan was born, never did I feel I was alone in this parenting journey. From waking up during night feedings to give me company, making each doctors appointment, to changing diapers, to helping with chores and making sure he arranges his schedule so my personal needs are met. He adds so much value to both our lives.. I attribute my ease of motherhood to his love, support and hands on commitment to our family. To witness his love for our son as he rocks him, reads, dances or sings to him is one of the most beautiful and heart opening experiences. We are extremely blessed to have the honor of loving him and so privileged to have his love in our lives… Happy First Fathers Day Chirag!!
Kourtney Buchanan Here is Daisy and her daddy Scott! He is so incredible with her. He is her number one fan. He is an amazing husband and always knows just what to do to make Daisy and I laugh!
Lindsay Layser My husband Eric on the boat with our boys, Eric Jr., and Evan! No matter how crazy life gets, as a father he ALWAYS makes time for his boys and family!!! The love he has for our kids makes him a great father!!! Along with allowing me to be a SAHM, he works hard, and never complains. He is also a volunteer fire fighter. Always helping others in need. He is a great role model for our boys! He never misses sports games, or things at school! To us he is our HERO!
Kristin Pastva My husband Ryan and son Kore are best buds. Ryan is a teacher, so he keeps Kore home from daycare all summer. Just yesterday he sanded our porch floor while keeping Kore entertained safely in the living room (the porch windows look right into the living room). Last week he changed the brakes on his car outside with Kore in the stroller next to him. Kore is obsessed with his dada, and for good reason. They love the same things: sleep, our dog, hockey, basketball, food, milk, and me. He changes poop-coated diapers and brake pads. He’s the coolest.
Heather Brunner The smile on her face says it all, Jay is the best dad to both our kids – he is fun, involved and doesn’t mind changing dirty diapers. We would be lost without him!
Ashton Cargile John – my husband, my best friend and the most amazing father to our two beautiful sons, Chase 2 1/2 and Jack 1 month. Watching him interact with the boys is a sight to behold. He is patient, he is fair, he is loving and understanding. I can’t think of a better role model and am proud that God chose me to be his wife and the mother of his children.
Mindy Scoble Allen Here’s my amazing and selfless husband, Eric! He is my amazing husband, daddy to our kids, and best friend. He is my world along with our 4 kids. He came into my life 4 years ago and changed my life for the better. He has accepted my kids as his own and helped raise them. He always makes the kids feel loved. Whenever any of them have a project due he goes above and beyond for them. He works sooo hard for our family so I can stay home with our kids. He is the most incredible and fun daddy a kid could ever ask for, and I will be eternally grateful for him coming into our lives. I am one lucky lucky girl! Happy Father’s Day to the most incredible daddy in the world!
Kerry Dunn Here is my husband Manny and our little Phoebe when she was only a few weeks old. She was the first baby he ever held in his life, he had zero experience with babies before we had one of our own. We’ve both learned a lot these past six months and I rely every day on his loving support. He was already a wonderful husband and now he’s proving himself a wonderful dad by being present and responsible but also silly and fun. We are lucky.
Jocelyn Marie Marchand My hubby Phil, father to our son Xander. He works all day long as a mail carrier, often 6 days a week and daily overtime just to provide for our family. We run a business together too, and with that he takes on another big role in making sure we live comfortably in our home together. At the end of what is usually a long, manually taxing day, he always greets us with smiles and hugs and wants to be the one rocking our baby to sleep. He is fully immersed in being an amazing father and husband, always checking in and taking care of us both…we couldn’t be luckier to have him in our lives. Love you Honey~ Happy First Father’s Day!
Erin Brahms What a great idea and what amazing dads there are out there! Alex is such a great dad, every night no matter how tired he is he plays guitar for Sebby at bedtime. Although no prior experience with babes or kids, he’s jumped in like a champ and has already made quite an impression on our son!
Lisa Gurrie Mike is the best dad ever! This is Jack listening to his dad tell funny stories. He knows his dad is his #1 role model and he loves him so so much!
Leslie Kendall Dye My husband Kerry never ceases to amaze me. He makes paper dolls and furniture out of cardboard boxes. He sews dolls’ clothes and fashions hats for teddy bears. He teaches our daughter how to draw, how to use a hammer and a screw driver to put together our household furniture, how to make a smoothie and how to flip an omelette. He spins tales of adventure for her on request, and because he’s a screenwriter, he never misses a beat. He dances our daughter to sleep when she’s restless. I really don’t think there is anything he is not game for when it comes to his child. All his powers of creativity combined with his endless adoration, not to mention his energy, make for a truly spectacular father to our child. I’m astonished by our good fortune. (He’s also really handsome, as a bonus.)
Belinda Peraza My husband Felipe. He holds my hand, holds my hair, holds our babies, holds my heart. He parents the way he lives….with kindness and love and respect. And omg our girls they adore him, especially Miss 8 months. They light each other up those two! When Felipe walks into the room she is smitten and all else fades from her view. Very darn adorable.
Shelley Gierka Hathcock My dad and my son Jackson. Jackson calls him Bobo and he is one of the greatest grandpas. My father in law, his Papa, is equally as wonderful. They spoil him so bad and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband, Dave, is a great daddy and seeing him with Jackson makes me fall more in love with him every day.
Casey Fitzsimmons My husband not only supports me unconditionally, but is the primary caregiver for our 17 month old son. And as many ladies can attest, that is no easy task. To top it off, to make extra money, he took care of another baby girl for 5 months when both my son and baby girl were 3 to 8 months old! T does what’s best for our family – always – even if that means saying no, or letting our son fall off the sled. And I love him.
Brew City Momma My husband, Ryan, is the most sports-obsessed man, but always down to have a princess party with our two girls. I admire how he balances teaching the girls about his loves (soccer, football, baseball) with fully participating in all the tea parties and dress up days they want.
Mary Widdicks We are all so lucky to have this daddy in our lives. He is the best playmate a kid could hope for. Plus he gets up nights and changes diapers!
Katie Relph This is my husband Nate and our 3 wildlings, Keira, Liam and Saoirse. He’s an amazing man, partner and father. I had no idea someone’s heart could be so pure. His dedication & commitment to our country is admirable. Through his actions he teaches our children that all lives matter. Whether at home or on deployment, he always makes us feel loved and protected.
Jacqui Granfield Here are 2 hard working dads: my husband Jeff and our friend Scott. These 2 work hard everyday for their boys so they will have great lives! They also step up to the plate when needed!!! I am proud of both of them!!! The 2 munchkins are Grady and Jameson.
Lindsey Colotti Mike doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to bottles, diapers, potty training, or getting up in the middle of the night! He works countless hours to support our family and it allows me to stay home and raise our babies. And he puts up with me.
Stephanie Donio Cauller Fishing is a timeless father/son activity. Brian and Jake head out about 6:30am to catch the right tides.
Rebecca Brennan My husband and I took our baby boy to the aquarium for his first birthday. He had a party too but on his actual birthday we did something that was just with mama and daddy, this is my husband showing our son the big tank at the Boston Aquarium.
Dana Anne Hernandez This is my beloved hubby and our (now) 5 month old son Antonio; they’re hanging out while mommy eats her fettuccine Alfredo at Olive Garden some time back!! Hugo is an amazing father who helps and gives, laughs and tries, protects, provides and loves. He is our rock and the best partner in life anyone could ever ask for. He’s currently caring for us both while I recuperate from oral surgery over the weekend. Both his son and I are totally over the moon for this man.
Jessica Page This is my husband Pat holding our daughter Alexandria. He has been an incredible partner on this adventure, and for someone who at one time swore he’d never want kids has fallen into fatherhood with ease. When looking after Allie has naturally centered more on me, he picks up the slack around the house and makes sure I’m taken care of. Venturing alone into the baby girl section of Target doesn’t faze him (though he reports he gets strange looks from a surprising number of women); he doesn’t protest at babywearing, solo sick days, and even the obligatory JCP family photo session. We drive each other crazy some days, sure, but I can’t imagine doing this without him, especially when I see how our baby girl reaches for him and holds him tight.
Amanda Cline Adam Cline may not be my children’s biological father, but genetics isn’t what makes a dad great. Adam is patient and kind. He loves “his” kids fiercely, and they love him just as much. He protects them, listens to them, guides them, and encourages them. He celebrates their triumphs with them, and he’s there to comfort them when they fall. He’s goofy and fun, and I honestly could not have asked for a better man to fill the father role in their lives.
Jennifer Taber VanDerwerken My husband always knew he wanted to be a father. In fact there’s a little famous family anecdote in which an aunt asked him what he wanted to be when grew up and he answered with “A Daddy”. And he fills those shoes so beautifully to our 4.5 year old whirling dervish of mischief and charm, and our new 4 month old sweet bundle of joy. Nick leaves our house at about 5 AM every day to go be a teacher (and sometimes father figure) to an incredibly deserving yet woefully underserved population of inner city middle schoolers. At work, he is all head-down, get it done, think of yourself last–because he believes those kids are entitled to his best. And then he gets home around 5:30 PM and applies the same principle to his family. He helps with dinner, gives baths, reinforces discipline, distributes hugs and kisses, and does an impressive British accent should the bedtime book call for it. He is an introvert whose every occupation demands an outward flow of energy to the needy people around him. I know his homeostasis must be a constant state of exhaustion but he never lets it show. People at his job struggle with work/life balance and often point to Nick as the only one who seems to have it figured out. The reason for that is quite simply that the last person on Nick’s list every day, is Nick. He is my partner in every sense of the word. I’m so happy my boys will have his daily example imprinted on them forever. There is no finer man anywhere than Nick VanDerwerken.
Pamela Sue This is my fiancé Steven with our two babies, Noah John & Grace Livianna. Steven is the type of man that goes above and beyond for his family. There is no limit to how much time and dedication he has shown us all. He works hard as a commercial fisherman, and leaves home for weeks at a time. But the moment is he is on land, he comes home and embraces family life. He not only helps me take care of the kids, but he helps clean the house, and handle all of our daily life struggles. He embodies exactly what being the perfect father (and partner) means to us. Everyday is so much easier when he’s home! And if he’s not, he makes sure we are well taken care of in the sweetest ways possible. We love you Steven, Happy Daddy’s Day.
Michelle Lynn Gester-Mance This is my wedding day, February 27, 2004. The man next to me is my husband Nicholas. He was 24 on this day. He married me and my children that day. I was 35 years old, twice divorced with 3 kids. On this day he became a dad to Richard, Melyssa and Tyra, he stepped into a ready-made family. For the last 11 years he has been my rock, my partner and husband. But most of all, the most important thing he has done is be a Daddy to the three kids who came as a package deal with me and the precious little boy we created together. Happy Father’s Day Nick! Thank you Jesus for blessing us with this man…. The man that leads this family, who completed us…. Even when he didn’t have to!
Jillian Pavao This is my dad and my daughter. I never truly appreciated the love of a parent until I became one and then even more when I saw my dad with Harper. They have been going to breakfast every Sunday since she was 8 weeks old. He also just built her a little girls dream – an outdoor playhouse – mailbox, front porch and all. There is nothing my dad wouldn’t do for his family. We aren’t the “lovey” type of family but how we treat each other says it all.
This is my husband Will and our daughter Harper. We were team green and he wanted a boy. After seeing him with our little girl I couldn’t imagine anything different. She has him wrapped around her little finger and their bond is precious.
Meredith Bazirgan My dad Dick Bazirgan taught me the importance of affection, no matter the age, from hugs to butterfly kisses, and that food is love. Among other things! #lifelessonsfromdad
Laurie Speyrer Chiasson This is my husband, Mark, and our then three-month-old (photo is over 11 years old). One week prior to this picture being taken, Mark went into surgery to donate a portion of his liver to our infant son. Eleven plus years later, they are carbon copies of each other and are inseparable.
Kristen Mae My husband is a great father because he’s not afraid to show his emotions with the kids or get down on the floor and act silly with them. You can see by the way Mari hugs her daddy that she’s head over heels for him.
And finally, to the dads in my life:
My own dad, Dan Curtis, and my father-in-law, Henry Faria – Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve always been there when we needed you, and Nolan couldn’t have a better Grandpa and Papa to get into mischief with.
And to Brian: I see the way you light up when you watch Nolan; he sees it, too. Knowing that your dad feels that way about you? That right there is a great father. We love you.
Great job on the Father’s Day Salute! Give Nolan’s dad a big high five and hope he has a great Fathers Day!
Thanks Marie! Off to high five Brian now 🙂