A Message From A Dad: ‘Parenthood is a Partnership’

OK, Mom. We know you’re working hard to be a Super Mom — and we know there are plenty of dads who are Super Dads, too. Here is one dad’s story.  

Every morning, Daniel Cales packs the kids’ lunches. He helps the kids get dressed. He drops off the kids at school.

Then he drives from appointment to appointment as an occupational therapy assistant, eating the same lunch he’s had for as long as he can remember — a sandwich on white bread with Land O’Frost Premium Roasted Turkey and a slice of cheese, plus a bag chips.

“I tell the guys at work I’m doing the cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of the kids, and they give me weird looks,” he told the Land O’Moms Editorial Team.

“They think Mom should be doing that stuff. Maybe it’s because of how they were raised. But that doesn’t make sense to me. Parenthood is a partnership.”

Just a year ago, Cales was a bachelor just making his way in his hometown, about 80 miles outside Nashville.

Today, he’s a proud husband to Julie and stepfather to a 10-year-old boy, Kade, and a 3-year-old girl, Kimber. And going from a 20-something bachelor to a wife and two kids was an adjustment.

“I think the hardest part about the change was recognizing that it wasn’t about me anymore,” Cales recalled. “It’s about the kids now. It’s about my new family.”

Because Cales’ work schedule is the more flexible one at home, he takes the lead in kid duties most school days.

It’s a partnership model that Cales has embraced. That made the transition to fatherhood much easier, too. And it’s something he advises other dads like him embrace.

“I love these kids like they were my own,” he said. “And that makes it really easy to set aside my own agenda and be the dad these kids need.

“I just wish more people would recognize there are guys like me all over the place, men who work full-time at work AND the home. Some of us are doing just as much.”

Still, Cales empathizes with all moms and dads — with a heart for those who are raising kids as a single parent.

“You always hear how hard parenting is, but you never really know until you’re the one doing it,” Daniel admitted. “I have all the respect in the world for the moms and dads raising kids, and especially for those doing everything alone.”

And while he’s excelling in his role as a dad, he’s still learning every day.

“Every day’s a learning experience,” Cales said. “But I’ve learned this whole transition is easier when stomachs are full.”

Another parenting pro tip he’s learned: “They have different tastes, so consensus on dinner is tough. Always have turkey on standby.”

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