My husband is about to become a father.


To be honest—that's still sinking in. In a few short months he will be up in the middle of the night changing diapers, learning how to fold tiny clothes and how to unfold complicated contraptions, like our stroller.

There will be a learning curve, but I have every confidence he will handle it all like a champ. He is pretty amazing that way.

We're both about to become parents, to jump into this world we know very little about—but I'm feeling confident we'll be able to rock parenting life together. And that's largely in part because we both have had such wonderful examples of fathers growing up.

For me, that's my dad. The soon-to-be Grandpa.

From teaching me to ride a bike, to bringing me flowers after a tough breakup—my dad has always been there for me. He has always seemed to know just what to do or say at just the right moment.

He taught me how to handle hardships.

As a young married couple with a hungry baby to feed, my dad (and mom) survived on nothing but potatoes during a rough financial period, in order to afford to feed me.

He has always protected me.

I know my dad has my back. He has always wanted to make sure I was safe. This meant pool floaties, minced hot dogs and home remedies whenever I was sick. Sometimes I would get annoyed with his constant preventive measures, but looking back I see the love in every action. And I'll feel it even more, soon, when I'm holding my baby in my arms.

There was nothing quite like the feeling of laying my head on my dad's chest. It always made me feel safe and comforted. Like home.

He has always worked hard for our family.

He rarely took time for himself. I remember him always helping around the house, spending time with my siblings and I or putting in long hours at the office to help with extra expenses. My dad became a father eight times. And he handled it all like a pro. He is a humble, quiet guy—soft spoken and often seemed insecure about his role as a dad.

But he didn't need to be. We felt his love so completely and saw it every single day in the way he lived out his life.

When I met my husband, my dad and I had several good, long talks about my future. I knew that I wanted my dad's approval before I made the commitment to marry this man.

He was wonderful throughout the entire process of when I started dating my future husband, during our engagement and ultimately the wedding. Walking down the aisle with my dad, arm in arm, toward my groom—was one of the proudest moments of my life.

He had done his job, and had done it well, and was passing on the responsibility of caring for and protecting me to someone else—my husband, my teammate—and our new life together.

My favorite picture from my wedding was one of the two of us making that final walk together. I'm so grateful that God chose to give me such a wonderful father. He still checks up on me—calls and video chats, makes sure we know he is there for my husband and I if we ever need anything.

He'll always be my dad.

So I'm excited as I approach the birth of my first child—a little girl.

I'm excited because I'll get to watch the relationship between my girl and my husband blossom and grow.

Because I know how it is to be a little girl with a strong, meaningful, unbreakable bond with her dad.

Because I was that little girl. And sometimes I feel like I still am.

Thanks, Dad. (Or should I say Grandpa?)

The Motherly #RockSTARDad Essay Series is brought to you by Motherly and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program. The prize will go to the essay that gets the shared and read the most, so please share this essay if you think it should win! You can read the other essays here.

The ENERGY STAR certified washer + dryer prize is provided by LG. The LG TWINWash™ 2-in-1 washer and dryer pair models may vary from pictured due to inventory and/or household requirements related to size and installation requirements.