Oh, how my ideal husband checklist has evolved since kids came into the mix. Because if parenting while married teaches you one thing, it’s that tall, dark and handsome is nice—but not nearly as nice as kind, funny and willing to change lots of diapers. And luckiest of all is the person whose spouse hits all the checkpoints. ?

Listening skills

Before kids: Pays attention to me.

After kids: Pays attention to the kid in the back seat who has said “shakalaka boom boom” 45,000 times in the last five minutes.

Displays of love

Before kids: Confesses his love for me (with bullet points).

After kids: Says, "I will clean up this puke.”

Willingness to shop

Before kids: Shops with me for home goods.

After kids: “Why don’t you run to Target (without children) and grab that _______.”

Gift-giving skills

Before kids: Buys me pretty things.

After kids: Pours me glass of wine.


Before kids: Your butt looks good in those jeans.

After kids: Your butt looks good (in those sweat pants with oatmeal on them).


Before kids: Backwards hat and drumming skills.

After kids:Listens attentively to 10-year-old talk about football and dog breeds for 75 minutes (and counting).


Before kids: Notices that I am dressed up and have taken two hours to do makeup, says, “Wanna make-out?”

After kids:Doesn’t notice that I smell like the inside of a shoe and have not washed my face since Wednesday, says, “Wanna make-out?”


Before kids: Seeing his giant arm muscles in a t-shirt.

After kids: Seeing him hold one of our babies when they cry.

To the fathers that have only gotten hotter with fatherhood, to the dads that are not babysitters: THANK YOU, WE LOVE YOU and WE CHERISH YOU.