A Mom’s Perspective on Being a Good Dad

I’m doing something a little different this week. I asked some moms I like and respect to share their opinions on what it takes to be a good dad. Some are from popular blogs you’ve heard of, some are new bloggers you may not have heard of, and some are highly-successful “Mompreneurs.” Let’s dive in!

If you like what you read from these ladies, be sure to check out their websites and follow them on social media, if you aren’t already (I included their info at the end of their thoughts). Enjoy!


Home Made Mimi 

1. ROCK HARD ABS: OK, fine, we’ll settle for regular trips to the gym. Fatherhood is a lifelong commitment– a great dad takes care of his body. He gets regular checkups, wears his seatbelt, and says no to drugs. Whether it’s pick-up basketball or an evening jog– a great dad oils his machine so he can last the long haul for his family.

2. A BIG FAT WALLET: Well, let’s start with a good financial plan. Smart money-management is key to creating a stress-free, happy home-life. A willingness to craft this plan as a team is also important. He works hard, you work hard, all toward a common goal. Like a trip to Disneyland. And there’s no better way to earn a World’s Greatest Dad coffee mug than to announce that trip.

3. CLOWN SKILLS: Primarily juggling. A great dad can put his own stuff aside to tend to his kids’ constantly changing needs. He knows when to give hugs and when to make them laugh. A great dad anticipates game changes and rolls with them, like taking the kids out for pizza when mom really needs a bubble bath. In the family circus, a great dad keeps us smiling.

Home Made Mimi blog

Home Made Mimi on Twitter

Home Made Mimi on Pinterest


Aimee Helfand (Baby League CEO)

Life is very different today than when we were kids.  We didn’t have to contend with cell phones, iPads, laptops, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to spend quality time with our parents.  There certainly were other distractions, but nothing like today.  So in my humble opinion, what makes a good dad is one who puts those distractions aside to give his child undivided attention and love as much as he’s able.  Life is busy, no doubt. There aren’t enough hours in a day for moms and dads.  However, one thing has never changed…a child wants QUALITY TIME with their parent more than anything else in the world.  There isn’t a gift money can buy more valuable than that and, as a stellar example of a father recently shared, “I always have time for you” is the new “I love you.” AGREED.

Baby League website

Baby League on Twitter

Baby League on Facebook


Rene Syler (Good Enough Mother)

GEMMy husband and I have been married 20 years in January. Through some recent shifts in our lives, I have taken a job that requires me to travel about half of the month. In that time, my husband, Buff, has shifted from working outside the home to now working from within it. He has stepped up in amazing ways! He’a always been much more organized than me, so getting the kids off to school and to various activities is much smoother with him at the helm (yeah I can admit that).

But I think the biggest thing is that his relationship with them has deepened. They’re teenagers now (aka: prickly) and when he worked in Manhattan, he would get on a train at 7:00 AM and not get home until about 8:00 PM. His relationship with them consisted of him yelling and them slamming doors (I know; you can’t wait). It’s totally different now and I’m so happy that this is the dad they’ll remember most.

In short.. he’s a really cool dude, doin’ good work.

Good Enough Mother website

Good Enough Mother on Twitter

Good Enough Mother on Facebook


Where’s MY Pacifier?

My definition of a good dad is someone who is there unconditionally yet also has your best interest at heart. A good dad to me is the man of the household. Yes, call me traditional but that is how I grew up. My mother is the CEO of our enterprise (our household) but daddy makes it work. Daddy makes sure his whole family is provided for no matter what.

He is a hard working man and knows that his family always comes first no matter what regardless of any situation. Also he is a loving man. He is not afraid to show his emotions and not afraid to express them. He understands the complexity of a woman and mother and embraces those complexities to make him a better daddy. He understands that his children are a part of him and makes it his duty to love, support, and encourage them as if they are his only priorities in the world. Daddy is the ultimate man in their eyes. No one can top or ever compare to a daddy that has been around for their children. It’s something that comes with the “daddy territory.” Once that’s in existence – no word, no bond, could ever come between a daddy and child.

Where’s My Pacifier blog

Where’s My Pacifier on Facebook

Where’s My Pacifier on Twitter


Hot Mess Mom

When my first child was born, my pediatrician told us, “No child has ever suffered from his parents loving each other.  Make sure you take to time to connect.  Go to dinner.  Get sitters.  Spend weekends away.  I promise your child will not suffer.”

He was right.

My husband is a great father, but it’s only partly because of his relationship with our children.  Sure, he plays catch and rides bikes.  He takes them to sporting events and wrestles them to the ground.  He educates them in history and shares with them his musical tastes.  He lets them watch, eat, and do things that I would never approve of. He makes them pancakes on Saturdays and builds campfires in the yard.  He’s their dad.  He’s their friend. He’s their idol.

That being said,  I believe what makes him a GREAT father is his ability to keep ME calm and keep me laughing.  My children are being raised in a house of laughter and sarcasm.  If it weren’t for my husband, it would also be a house of yelling and hair-pulling.  He’s the Ying to my Yang.  I am wild and he is calm.  I have a short fuse, he holds the extinguisher.   We’ve always said that we are raising “men,” not boys.  I teach them how to be men with words.  He teaches them by example.  John Wooden said, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”  I say “The best thing a father can do for his children is to keep their mother from losing her effing mind.”  Oh, and sexing her up real good.  Yeah.. that.

Hot Mess Mom blog

Hot Mess Mom on Facebook

Hot Mess Mom on Twitter


Slice of Humble

In my perspective, what makes a great father is a father (not limited to gender of course, or sharing DNA, but one who has accepted the title of Dad) who desires to be connected to a child. Not just in day-to-day interactions but to have a bond. An affection, a trust, and a belief that above all other things in life, their role as being that child’s “person,” is more important than anything else. ANYTHING ELSE. In order for a child to be successful at life, they need just ONE person who believes in them, guides them, shows them affection and trusts them. Great dads strive to be that child’s person. The kind of dad they wish they had, or the kind of dad they were lucky enough to have. They show their child a love that they deserve to see in their spouses and give to their own children. It’s quite easy this whole parenting thing, aside from the horror of colic and 2 year olds of course. Oh and the asshole 9 year olds, watch out for those. But the rest is alright. Kind of.

Slice of Humble blog

Slice of Humble on Facebook

Slice of Humble on Twitter


Rachel Pitzel (Club MomMe Founder and CEO)

Rachel and famSomeone who is patient, caring, loving, and can put someone else’s needs before themselves.  A good father wants to spend time with his family, is thoughtful and is willing to parent.  To me the role of a good husband changes when he becomes a father, as he may need to step up more with the responsibilities around the house like cooking, cleaning, and laundry (but my husband has always had some strange affinity towards doing our laundry).  He may have to do more outside of the house, running errands, re-arranging his day for doctor’s appointments and he considers his family before making plans at night and on the weekends.
A good father has a close connection with his child, and is not afraid to be intimate with them.  Many men have an issue with appearing too vulnerable or letting their feelings show, but a good father allows his child to see that he too has feelings.

Club MomMe website

Club MomMe on Facebook

Club MomMe on Twitter


Cappuccino Queen

Everyone who knows my story knows that I cannot speak from the experience of having co-parented with a “good dad.” In fact, my only experience of co-parenting was one straight out of a bad Lifetime Network movie or horror film. Having had such a horrible experience, I can only speak about what I would want from the father of my children.

Having made the mistake of picking the worst dad in the universe, I would now accept nothing less from a man than the standards of parenting to which I hold myself. True parenting requires selflessness to the degree that you would be willing to lay down your own life for your children. A good dad should look like what a good mom is to society. He should be a teacher, a mentor, a caretaker, a storyteller, a nurse…or whatever his children need him to be. He should be present not just physically and financially, but he should be fully emotionally present too. He should be the kind of man he would want to see his own daughters with someday – the kind of man his children are proud to call their father.

Cappuccino Queen blog

Cappuccino Queen on Facebook


Fumbling Toward Naptime

It’s hard for me to say what makes a great dad.  Though, to be honest, I suspect that I was raised by one  (along with a great mother).  But then again, I was such an easy child to raise—perfect manners, always sweet, incredibly helpful, humble, essentially flawless—that I probably would have made ANY parent look good.  Heck, a MONKEY could have raised me.  Okay, maybe I had one teensy little flaw.  Hardly worth mentioning. But, as a child, I was fiercely afraid of thunderstorms.  I was paralyzed by this fear.  So, for years, my father would always seek me out as soon as the skies started to darken and there was rumbling in the distance.  He just wanted to make sure I was okay.  And provide a few words of comfort.  Sweet guy.  You know, now that I think about it, I might have had one other small flaw.   There were a few months—okay, FINE, a few years—of my childhood during which I was a selective mute.  I was a regular chatterbox with my family.  But around anyone I didn’t know or trust: SILENCE.  If this embarrassed my father (a rather gregarious guy himself), he never let on.  Or gave me a hard time about it.  And eventually I outgrew it.  (And was flawless once again.)  Patient guy.

He needed that patience.  My father was the one who taught me to ride a bicycle.  Or at least he tried.  I didn’t catch on quickly.  This was NOT a character flaw.  It was a very unusual and vastly underdiagnosed physical inability.  I.  COULD.  NOT.  DO.  IT.  I explained this to my father in a calm, rational manner.  By which I mean I screeched, “I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO RIDE A BICYCLE!” at a frequency that was probably only audible to dogs.  My father calmly accepted this information.  But, against all reason, persevered.  Oddly enough, one day, while my father was patiently running alongside my bicycle (for the 83rd time) he gradually released the hand that had been firmly planted on the back of the seat.  And I kept going.  I can’t explain it.  I guess it was a miracle.  And one that my father reminded me of FOR THE REST OF MY CHILDHOOD whenever I used the words “can’t” or “never.”  Wise fellow.  I could tell you more about my father—how he told me bedtime stories each night, sang to me, and taught me to skip rocks, throw a ball, check tire pressure, and drive a car.   But you get the point.  I guess great dads are just THERE.  To love you.   To support you.  To teach you.  To help mold your sense of who you are.  My dad often looked at me smiling and said, “That’s my girl!”  I assume he was eager to point this out, because I was so flawless.  Or maybe, he just made me believe I was.  Wait a second . . .

Fumbling Toward Naptime blog

Fumbling Toward Naptime on Facebook


Mommy Verbs

Mommy VerbsA good Dad is in the middle of all of the action that defines a family. He is the resident wrestler, the master tickler and the one who builds the small bike ramps for the kiddos in the driveway or the large sledding ramps in the snow. He is the one who lets the kiddos do the things that make the Mommas say, “Whoa now! That looks dangerous!” He’s the partner that knowingly smiles and winks at the Momma and says, Come on now, let them try.

A good Dad is also one who balances the work and fun that defines a family. He is game to get involved in the cooking and the cleaning and the laundry, but also manages to live and thrive in the clutter that a really good Lego project requires. He is the one who knows that playtime is just as important as work time. He is the one who sends the text to the tired working Momma on her way home that says, “House messy. Kids happy. Want a sandwich?”

And a good Dad is a professional improviser. He knows how to make things work when things are broken or lost and is the one willing to walk the kiddos to the bus stop in the rain, using a couple of beach umbrellas.

Mommy Verbs blog

Mommy Verbs on Facebook

Mommy Verbs on Twitter


Oh Boy Mom

A good dad never stops trying to be a great dad. He never stops giving hugs, teaching respect, and encouraging his kids to dream big, having faith in their abilities. A good dad tells his kids to not be afraid of failure because that is how they will achieve success. A good dad shows his sons how to love a woman, by treating his wife with love and affection. A good dad shows his daughters that they are strong, independent, and beautiful both inside and out. A good dad is goofy. A good dad pays attention. A good dad plays catch. A good dad cries when his son is ill and does whatever it takes to make sure he gets better.

I’ve watched my husband, a good dad, become an awesomely great dad after our son was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor a few months ago. He has cried, researched, discussed, and subsequently found the best possible doctors and medical care for our son. He then cared for our other two sons for 6 weeks by himself while I lived in another state with our ill child so that he could receive the best possible treatment and he did this all while trying to run his own company and keep our family financially afloat. Good dad, right? I hope you’ll agree.

Oh Boy Mom blog

Oh Boy Mom on Facebook

Oh Boy Mom on Twitter



Mamas Around The House

A good dad is interested in understanding his kids as people and learning what their likes, dislikes, and enjoyments are (and working with those). A good dad takes time for himself as a person and knows his limits, but is willing to put aside his enjoyment to teach life lessons to his children (for example, will put aside the book he’s reading to explain to his children that everyone is having personal quiet time and that when that is over he will help them build their robot). A good dad has patience and recognizes when he needs help from another adult because his patience or mental energy is waning. A good dad is internally motivated to enjoy his time with his children and for them to enjoy it as well. He is willing to focus on the child’s likes (watch Dora, play Potato Heads) rather than say, “But I don’t want to do that so I won’t do that with you.” A good dad is a role model for positive behaviors but recognizes when he has modeled negative behaviors and apologizes for those, explaining his behaviors.

Mamas Around The House blog

Mamas Around The House on Facebook

Mamas Around The House on Twitter


Do you have a favorite answer? Make your voices heard in the comment section!

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  1. Molly T says

    Wow! I love this post. Thank you DDW for sharing these women (the only ones I heard of previously are CQ and Humble). I’m going to visit their pages now. Thanks for adding the “mom perspective!”

  2. Eleda says

    Love this and agree with them all. I of course love Hera! I really hope that she finds what she and her princess deserve some day. If not, I’m pretty sure she’s got it handled. She is an inspiration. Fumbling toward naptime’s kinda got me choked up. I just don’t know what to say. Lol! Children are flawless with their many flaws but that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them. They make mistakes. We have to make sure they don’t feel defective or think down on themselves. When or kids get into trouble for instance, my husband and I make sure to tell them “you aren’t a bad kid, you’ve made a bad choice.” Good dads aren’t afraid to be a good Dad. They just do what needs to be done. The most important ingredients of being a good parent is love and patience for the family as a whole.

  3. says

    I love reading about these great dads! As a blogging friend of Emily’s from Oh Boy Mom, it was nice to hear more about her husband as she doesn’t often write about him. ALso, I’m excited to meet some of these other amazing people and am glad to have found Daddy Doin’ Work. A win!
    Kristi Campbell recently posted..She Believes in MeMy Profile

  4. Larry says

    What a great Blog. Thank you DaddyDoinWork. Thank you Moms for all of your input. You will make a big difference in some dads.

  5. JLC says

    This post is awesome. I’m a BIG fan of Rene at Good Enough Mother, so it’s great to see her on here, and what a beautiful family she has! It’s also great seeing the best Daddy blogger on the planet offer a change of pace by inviting moms to guest post. Love it :)


    PS – I made your Epic Baked Ziti for my family over the weekend and they LOVED it! :)

  6. Meg says

    DDW, I found your blog through Club MomMe and I saw you speak at the Family Fall Fest on November 3rd. I was too shy to approach you because you have such a “larger than life” persona, but I really enjoyed what you had to say about fatherhood. Also, your daughters and wife are beautiful. You are truly a blessed man.

    It was nice to see Rachel on here. She is a true Mompreneur! Thanks for sharing the opinions of such an awesome group of moms!

  7. Kristin Kat says

    Thanks Doyin for sharing your page with all these fabulous bloggers today! I just bookmared a bunch and can’t wait to check them out when I have some down time :-)

  8. Kelly says

    We’re entering this bizarre, new phase in life… Parents of the nearly-adult adult kid. Technically, she’s an adult. She’s now 19 years old and a sophomore in college, which means she’s overloaded, working too hard, enjoying Greek life too much, and still can’t complete a load of laundry to save her life. (Living out of your parents’ dryer is NOT how it’s done.)

    I’ve always thought my husband was an excellent father, for a lot of different reasons. He’s very good at figuring out the appropriate emotional response (and the appropriate response to an emotional kid). He’s able to delineate an argument in kid-friendly terminology. He takes an interest, loves to play games, and fills the gaping holes in my parenting style.

    What we’re discovering now is that parenting doesn’t end when your kid hits that magical age of 18 (or 19… or 38…). You’re always your kids’ parent. Always. And when you’re a parent, you become a maternal or paternal figure for kids that aren’t yours. Even as our relationship with our own kid is changing (and we could talk about the growing pains, yes), we find that he’s still a great dad, biological and otherwise.

    I think that’s part of what makes a dad great. A kid is a kid is a kid, yours or otherwise. Of course, I still subscribe to the village theory.

  9. chris woodcock says

    as a first time dad i actually found this extremely insightful, thanks you so much

  10. Alexis says

    I love this post, but it also makes me sad. I’ve been a single mom since I was pregnant. My daughter’s father is a good guy, but he lives kind of far away. I have been dating/living with a guy for a few years now. He is ultra sweet and we never fight or anything. He has kids of his own, around my daughter’s age, from a previous marriage. But I feel like, even with his good qualities, he isn’t a great dad. He plays catch with his son only after he has begged and begged. He doesn’t wrestle with them. He plays video games while they go watch movies. If I have all of them doing crafts or art projects for fun in the kitchen, he’ll only sit at the table because I’ve asked him to, and he never actually participates or acts like he’s having fun with it. He’s a good guy, and I have a lot of friends who’ve been with much worse. But this post reminds me that I could be with someone much better, too. Someone who adores all of our kids, who does the right thing, who puts them first. Someone who is a hero to them, not just some guy they occasionally spend weekends with (or in my case, mommy’s boyfriend and not much more. Even though he has been with me, and known my daughter since she was an infant.) So thank you for this. It’s nice to be reminded that good men aren’t only behind movie lenses or on pages in books. Good dads exist. Dads who love their kids, who want them to thrive, who keep their finances in order, who help and who take joy out of their life instead of letting it slip by them. This post was saddening for me, but mostly inspiring. I’ve been on the fence a long time, and I think this cemented a decision that I’ve been dreading to make for the past 3 years.

    I hope all of you cherish these great fathers in your life and when I find a great guy one day, I’ll do the same.

  11. Maria says

    I am so grateful for my parents. I don’t have children but this made me weepy for some reason. My fiance did not have good parents growing up and suffered abuse by both of them. Physical by his dad and mental by his mom. His dad even tried to teach him to be an abuser like him. It makes me sad their are people out there that do not care about their children. It made me sad that my fiance cannot have a relationship with his parents but I understand why it’s not possible now.

  12. Ben Wade says

    I would agree with all of those things. Additonally, solid character is a must for any dad – honesty, self control, integrity, and loyalty are a few major character traits that I highly admire in anyone – dad or not. Another thing – consistency of character; a dad must be uncompromising in all these areas over a long time. Those are the people who make the greatest dads, and those are the qualities you want modeled for your children.
    Ben Wade recently posted..MakeMyTrip Coupons and DealsMy Profile

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