I say all the time that I am one of the luckiest girls in the world. Not only do I have the best Dad any girl could ever hope for, but I have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing men who have shown me and my girls what the #RealStrength of a man truly is. From my late grandfathers to my uncles to my Dad to the partners I have chosen, the men in my life have always showed true strength with their kindness, integrity, and in some instances - patience! Even though Father's Day is over, celebrating the men in our lives should never end.
I introduce Mike to everyone as my "better half" - because he truly is. Mike amazes me daily. As the only man in the house besides the cat, he stands a full foot taller than any of us girls with big, broad shoulders. He does all of the "heavy lifting" around here - whether it is bringing in the 25 bags of groceries (all in one trip, of course) moving the furniture so we can clean under it, or just opening the pickle jar. But his physical strength isn't all that he has going for him. The strength he shows by loving my girls as his own makes me fall in love with him over and over again.
When Mike and I met I was a single mom living in a tiny little condo - literally stealing internet from the neighbors wifi because I did not have enough money for it myself. I was living on pennies, barely getting by, trying to rebuild my business after a nasty divorce. We only saw each other on the days that the girls were with their Dad so sometimes that meant a few days together... followed by more days apart. We would spend hours on the phone after the girls went to bed, just talking and laughing. The song "Kiss Me Through The Phone" was on the radio, and we laughed that it was just for us.
One evening he was headed to a tournament downtown and asked if he could come by for just a minute - I could sneak out to see him. It had been nearly a week since we had seen each other, which at the time felt like an eternity. I set the girls up with a movie and told them I was going outside to make a phone call. I snuck out to say hello as he pulled up, and a few minutes later I saw Midge coming out of the back door to find me. I scooped her up and she said "who's that?" And I said "This is my friend Mike, can you say hello?" She leaned over to shake his hand and said "Will you be my friend too?" At that moment I think Mike fell in love, and the two of them have been practically inseparable ever since.
Sami was a little tougher sell - after all she was older and still mad that her dad and I had split. Mike was amazing with her - he talked to her, he let her be mad, he always treated her like a "grown up" while I now see I was treating her like a baby. He became her confidant and even now there are times where he comes and tells me about conversations they have had - things she went to him to talk about instead of coming to me. Sometimes I feel a twinge of jealousy, but then I just realize how fortunate I am that they are so close.
A little over a year in to our relationship I found out I needed a hysterectomy. Mike and I had never talked about having children of our own - we had not even discussed marriage or a future or any of that. But this surgery meant Mike would never have any biological children of his own if he chose to stay with me. It was very hard, and we both cried many many tears. I was sure he would leave - after all having children was always a dream of his. But he stayed. And every day he has treated the girls as if they were his own.
If Mike needed to move a mountain for these girls, I am certain that he could. But the strength I most admire is a man who steps in to the role of Dad when he doesn't have to and commits to it for the rest of his life.
Dove has partnered with Walmart to help celebrate the #RealStrength of Dads like Mike all over the world. The Dove+ Mens Care line are all of the products Dad needs to stay strong (and smelling great!) You can show Dad how much you care by creating a personalized slideshow just for Dad and share it using the hashtag #RealStrength.
And next time you shop your local Walmart, pick up some of these great products to show Dad you love him - every day.
Hydrate Face Wash
Dove Men+Care Hydrate + Face Wash features a mild formula that cleanses thoroughly and rinses easily while effectively fighting dry skin. Its lather activates on skin leaving your face moisturized.
Hydrate Face Lotion
Dove Men+Care Hydrate + Face Lotion contains an advanced formula designed for men’s skin to lock in moisture without feeling greasy. Protect your face from sun damage with broad spectrum SPF 15 and helps to keep your skin looking healthy.
Clean Comfort Antiperspirant
The first antiperspirant/deodorant from Dove specifically designed to give men protection—without compromise. Its unique formula combines one of the most effective ingredients for 48-hour protection against odor and wetness with non-irritant 1/4 moisturizer technology.
Clean Comfort Body Wash
Dove Men+Care Clean Comfort Body and Face Wash with MICROMOISTURE technology is clinically proven to fight skin dryness better than regular men’s body wash. This ultra-light formula rinses off easily for a refreshing clean and total skin comfort.
Anti Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo
Dove Men+Care Anti Dandruff Fortifying Shampoo helps eliminate flakes. Developed with Pyrithione Zinc and infused with caffeine to strengthen hair and improve scalp health.
How do you celebrate the #RealStrength of Dad every day?
*Sponsored post by Lunchbox, all opinions are 100% my own.