High Fiving a Hands-on Dad

Six years ago when my husband Ryan and I got married, I knew when we eventually had kids he would be an excellent dad. In fact, when we were dating I could picture him as the dad playing in the yard with the kids and being very hands-on. I never realized how much this picture would come to life when that day was actually here.

Often, it seems when a baby is born, the mom naturally is the one to make sacrifices. She’s the one up in the middle of the night feeding the baby, doesn’t go out with her friends as often because she is taking care of the baby, spends long hours alone at home all day on maternity leave, and her body is recovering from the birth of a human. I think dads often get a bad rap for being viewed as not as helpful to the mom, not having to give up as much, etc., but I’ve found the exact opposite to be true. In the first six months of Elin’s life, it wasn’t just me to give up some things.

From the moment that Elin was born, Ryan has been hands-on with her. I had a c-section, so it was hard for me to get in and out of bed. He changed every diaper in the hospital and woke up when she needed to eat to help me with breastfeeding. When we got home he was the one to get up out of bed and get her multiple times during the night and bring her to me to nurse. There is no way I would have survived those first few weeks without his help. He sacrificed sleep then and continues to today. He’s the one that usually gives her a bath and does bedtime with her so I can have a few moments to myself each night. He’s a saint!


While both of our lives have changed for the better since Elin has been born, Ryan has given up a lot. I have a husband with a lot of hobbies—too many if you ask me. Golf, fishing, brewing beer…the list could go on and on. He’s a teacher, so his summers before Elin were often spent during the day at the golf course and nights at a local fishing hole. Repeat the same pattern day after day until August. This summer will be different than the ones of the past. The golf course and fishing holes will still be visited, but not nearly as frequently as in the past. When he’s asked what he will be doing this summer he often replies, “Going to the park.” I know he means with Elin, and I think he’s secretly excited about it!

Ryan is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. He’s an elementary teacher for goodness sake, so he has to be patient! I, on the other hand, am not patient. He’s patient with her when she cries, patient with me when I am frustrated with something, and calms both of us down all of the time.


I’m so blessed to have a partner who is hands-on and helpful from the moment he gets home at night until the wee hours of the morning when she occasionally wakes up. I know many women aren’t fortunate enough to have a supportive partner by their side, and I can’t even imagine how they get through each day. They are much braver than me. That is why this Father’s Day I give a big high five to my hands-on husband, other hands-on fathers, and mothers who are doing double duty and filling the father role.

What sacrifices has your partner made since your child or children were born? Who do you want to give a high five to?


Elizabeth Kreher
Elizabeth is a personable, outgoing mom living in Cedar Rapids and working as a high school counselor. She met her husband, Ryan, in high school, but were friends for several years. They started dating while they were both at the University of Iowa and have been married since 2009. After enjoying 5.5 years as a married couple with only a dog to be responsible for, they added to their family in November 2014 when their daughter Elin was born. They welcomed their second daughter, Myla, in October 2016. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys being outside, reading, traveling, attempting to be crafty, running, cheering on the Hawkeyes and spending time with family and friends. She’s loved seeing Cedar Rapids through the lens of a mom and all our city has to offer for families.


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