I just watched my husband take my daughter to the pool, and watching them, tiny hand in huge one, it reminded me of how far they have come. And how far I have come in trusting him to parent her.
I was a stay at home mom for my first child, but knew I would have to go back to work soon with the second. I assumed I would do a better job of sharing our daughter than I had my son, and my husband would be the 'mama' while I was at work. Not very close to the reality we experienced. He was actually her daddy, right from the beginning.
I can't tell you how many times mamas come to mom's group upset about their husband or partner and their relationship to the baby. Either daddy doesn't have all the soothing tricks down, or baby is always fussy when they are around, or baby just seems to always want the mama only; either way the consensus is that daddy just isn't THE ONE.
But my experience has taught me that fathering is different than mothering in so many ways, and that we as mothers need to recognize this and value it. My husband has said it took him months to bond with our babies, but it wasn't that he didn't love them, it just took some time for him to enjoy them! What he provides them with are things that mothering (at least my brand of mothering) just doesn't offer.
As a father he does these things that I would never do. He takes them to Home Depot (and let's them climb on the lumbar piles...I never allow that!). He takes them to the park and lets them work in the sand for hours (even though he gets bored out of his mind some days). He even acts out various stories in the living room (with elaborate sets, including couches on their sides and piles of cushions to jump into off our counter--not something a mama would think of regularly).
Just as daddies may not quite make the mark as mommies, we need to remember that mommies don't make the mark as daddies either. Each role (however defined in your family) is valuable and not necessarily interchangeable. So, just a reminder that fathers may not 'get it' in the early weeks, but they certainly come through in the long run.